MORE than £1m of cannabis has been stopped from hitting the streets of South Tyneside after police uncover yet another drugs farm.
The discovery – at a flat in Chichester Road, South Shields, on Friday – is the seventh to be made by police in less than two months.
Officers come across the farm, made up of about 400 plants, after following two men, acting suspiciously in the street, to the address.
As well as seizing the plants –with a potential value of £600,000 – lighting equipment was also recovered.
This latest discovery now means cannabis with an estimated street value of £1m has been found in the borough in recent weeks.
The find came the same day as officers, acting on information from residents, searched a property in Graham Street, South Shields, where about 90 cannabis plants were found.
A man, aged 63, and a woman, aged 62, were arrested on suspicion of producing a Class B drug.
Both have been released on police bail, pending further inquiries.
The day before, police, again acting on information from the public, seized more than 100 plants from a flat in Mortimer Road, South Shields.
Acting Neighbourhood Inspector Steve Prested said: “Police take the issue of drugs extremely seriously, and where information comes to light of drugs activity, whether that information comes from the public or from our own investigations, we will take robust and positive action.
“To date, we have been able to dismantle a number of drugs operations in South Tyneside.
“This has prevented a large amount of cannabis from hitting the streets, and disrupted what could have been very lucrative deals for criminals. While this discovery was as a result of officers following up suspicious behaviour, the vast majority have been found because of information from the public.
“We would encourage people to come forward and keep giving us the information we need to bring criminals to task for their crimes.”
Last month, officers in Hebburn found 100 plants in two neighbouring flats in Victoria Road East.
The raid came within weeks of more than 100 plants – between 3ft and 4ft high – were seized from a flat in Thornton Avenue, South Shields.
On December 16, more than 150 plants and lighting equipment were seized from the loft of a flat in Talbot Road, West Park, South Shields. A week later, police raided an upstairs flat in Westcott Road, South Shields, where 80 plants were found.
Anyone with information about drugs in South Tyneside is asked to call police on 101 ext 69191 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.