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Drugs raid cops unearth secret cannabis factory

POLICE struck a crucial blow in the war against drugs after uncovering a "cannabis factory" in an Accrington house.

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OFFICERS PC Lynne Williams and Sergeant Claire Holbrook battle their way through the plants.

POLICE struck a crucial blow in the war against drugs after uncovering a "cannabis factory" in an Accrington house.

Teams from Accrington Police Station swooped on the Exchange Street property in response to intelligence gathered by officers and community wardens in Spring Hill.

And they struck gold after smashing their way inside and finding a "forest" of more than 150 illegal cannabis plants.

The house was empty at the time of the raid, which was executed last Friday under Section 23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

But on Wednesday a 44 -year-old man was arrested in connection with the raid. He was later released on police bail pending forensic analysis of the substances seized.

Sergeant Claire Holb-rook said armed response officers had forced their way into the house before teams searched inside. Dog-handlers and intelligence officers were also involved in the operation.

They found two upstairs bedrooms and the bathroom had been converted into a "cannabis cultivation factory," with seedlings being grown using UV lighting and fans. Other plants seized in the raid were as high as 5ft tall.

She added that a "drying room" contained a large quantity of plants hanging on lines from the ceiling, while downstairs they found equipment used in preparing the drug for sale.

She said: "It is important that the public understand that cannabis is still very much illegal and we will take action to prosecute offenders who blatantly disregard the law."

"This is a substantial seizure of cannabis grown covertly in a dwelling around unsuspecting neighbours."

"I would urge anybody with information relating to drug misuse to contact the police. All information is investigated and, where possible, acted upon."

PC Mick Walsh, community beat manager for Spring Hill, helped to gather the information leading to the warrant, along with his police community support officer, Wayne Smith, and the team of community wardens.

He said: "I will not tolerate drug misuse on my patch and this seizure shows that I will act on any information received."

"This is only one of a series of unconnected addresses that Wayne and myself are investigating and the public will be able to follow our progress."

"I strongly urge anybody who has specific information about drug-dealing to contact me on 353103."