TWO eagle-eyed beat bobbies stumbled across a £90,000 cannabis farm during a routine patrol on a South Tyneside street.
The police community support officers (PCSOs) were walking along the back lane of Leighton Street, Westoe, South Shields, at about 11am yesterday when they spotted the “strong glow” of UV lights in the window of an upstairs flat.
Officers Mark Halliday and Steve Lorrison found the back gate ajar, and when they opened it were hit by a strong stench of cannabis.
They found the back door wide open and called for back-up, who raided the property, seizing 130 cannabis plants.
Speaking about their discovery today, Mr Halliday said: “We were just on a routine patrol and we saw a ridiculous glow coming from one of the windows. It looked like UV lights hanging from the ceiling.
“When we got to the back of the property we saw the door was slightly ajar, and when we opened it we were hit by the smell of cannabis, it was really strong.
“We couldn’t believe how obvious it was. The back door of the flat was open as well and we shouted upstairs ‘the police are here’, but there was no response.
“We looked upstairs and saw loads of plastic sheets and all the paraphernalia for growing cannabis, so we called for help.”
Two riot vans and a patrol car were called and officers raided the property, where they seized the drugs and growing equipment including UV lights.
However, no one was found at the flat and no arrests have been made.
By Andy Hughes