Drugs farm raid by police

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POLICE have uncovered a cannabis farm on an “industrial scale” at a factory unit in Hartlepool.

Hartlepool Police’s drugs unit swooped on the unit at Tees Bay Industrial Estate, off Brenda Road, in Hartlepool, around 8am yesterday.

Officers stormed the building and discovered a “cannabis growth site” with thousands of pounds of specialist equipment used to grow the class B drug.

Police believe that the farmers of the drugs have recently harvested their huge crop as there were no plants to be seen.

But Detective Sergeant Daryl Tomlinson, from the drugs unit, said the intelligence-led discovery has still disrupted a large organised crime group operating within Hartlepool and the surrounding areas.

Thousands of pounds of heating, lighting and watering equipment has now been seized and taken away for forensic testing.

No arrests have been made yet, but officers say their investigations are still ongoing.

He said: “We executed a warrant at a large industrial premises off Brenda Road after receiving intelligence that cannabis was being produced on an industrial scale.

“We found the cannabis growth site but no plants, and we believe the plants have just been cropped.

“Despite this we have disrupted the distribution of this drug and a growth site with thousands of pounds of equipment from them.”

He added that he would be surprised if no-one in the area had not been aware of the farm or had suspicions of what was happening in the area.

Det Sgt Tomlinson said: “It is quite hard to believe that no-one knew this was going on. We have concerns over the size of the site and its location.”

Anyone who has any information about the cannabis farm, or any other drugs activity in and around Hartlepool, should contact police on a confidential drugs line, (01642) 302181.