A huge cannabis farm, understood to have a street value of up to £150,000, has been smashed by police in South Tyneside.
The raid, in Dean Street, South Shields, was next door to a former charity shop where police found a cannabis farm two months ago.
Officers raided the upstairs flat yesterday morning after concerns were raised about a strong smell of the drug.
Police say a search of the property uncovered about 300 cannabis plants, lighting and heating equipment.
The electricity supply had also been tampered with to bypass the meter.
The discovery comes less than two months after police searched a former charity shop next door where a 32-plant cannabis farm was found in a rear room.
We’ve seized a considerable number of cannabis plants that were presembably meant to be sold on as a result we have stopped these drugs from getting onto the streets.Neighbourhood Inspector Paul Young
Christopher Scott, 30, of Westoe Road, was jailed for six months, suspended for two years, last week for producing a Class B drug in relation to the find.
Yesterday, officers were back on the street to clear out another property of growing equipment and cannabis plants.
One witness said; “I arrived at work at 8.30am and the police were already here. The smell wafting through the street was very strong.
“Sadly, it is not a surprise to hear there has been another cannabis farm on the street.”
A shop owner on the street said; “I think people have had their suspicions as there has been a lot of activity around that flat but there hasn’t been any concrete evidence.
“I had only just recently read about the cannabis farm found in the shop next door.”
Another neighbour added; “I saw two police cars arrive this morning. At first I thought they were clearing out at the shop next door, but now it appears this is a second cannabis farm that has been found.”
Neighbourhood Inspector Paul Young said: “We’ve seized a considerable number of cannabis plants that were presumably meant to be sold on and as a result we’ve stopped these drugs from getting onto the streets and disrupted criminal activity.
“Tampering with an electricity supply is incredibly dangerous and has the potential to not just cause considerable damage to a property but also cause the occupants and occupants of neighbouring properties serious harm.”
He added: “We recognise the local community is concerned about the cultivation of cannabis in the area and we will always act on information we receive that raises concern.
“I hope residents feel reassured that we do take action against the issues that affect them the most.”
To report information about drugs or drugs supply in your area ring 101. If a crime is taking place or in an emergency, ring 999.
•A 29-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the production of cannabis and is helping police with their inquiries.