Police smash cannabis factory hidden in flat

Police at the scene of the drugs raid in Penwortham

Police at the scene of the drugs raid in Penwortham

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A cannabis farm growing plants worth up to £70,000 has been smashed in a flat above a parade of shops.

Police seized around 200 plants from the flat on Hawkesbury Drive in the Kingsfold area of Penwortham.

A 37-year-old local man was arrested on suspicion of growing the Class B drug with intent to supply.

A Lancashire Police spokesman confirmed officers also seized a large amount of equipment during the raid at around 9.15pm on Friday.

Officers returned to the property to remove a large quantity of cannabis plants and equipment on Saturday morning.

A local resident, who asked not to be named, said officers had been at the scene throughout Friday night.

She said: “They had to load up two big vans with all the plants and equipment they brought out.

“No-one around here knows who the man who lived in the place was or what he was doing up there.

“It is quite a shock to think that something like that is going on right on your doorstep.”

A local trader said she had been left shocked by the quantity of the drug being grown in the property.

She said: “You would think you would notice something like that.

“When the police went in and started bringing out all these plants and equipment, I could not believe how much there was.

“How they managed to get all that in there without anyone around here noticing, I do not know.

“It is really shocking.”

Another local trader said the flats were run by a housing association and were not connected with any of the shops in the parade beneath them.

He said: “The police were in there all (Saturday) morning taking stuff out.

“It looked like equipment and possibly plants wrapped up in plastic bags.”

The raid is the latest in a sustained crackdown on drug factories by Lancashire Police which has seen more than £8m of drugs seized from 485 cannabis farms in the past year.

In Lancashire, in just over a year, 20,603 plants have been found in the factories.