A cannabis farm worth up to half a million pounds has been found in North Shields.
Around 2,000 plants – with a street value thought to be in the region of £330,000 to £550,000 – was found in the basement of an abandoned warehouse in Union Road.
Police carried out the raid on the property at 9am on Wednesday following an intelligence-led investigation.
One person has been arrested, released under investigation and is helping police with enquiries.
Detective Inspector Jon Bensley said: “This is a considerable amount of cannabis that we can only assume was meant to be sold on, and thanks to the investigative work of our officers, it is now off our streets.
“The cultivation of cannabis on this scale is closely linked to other organised criminal activity.
“As such, we will continue to target the people responsible for these farms as well as the so-called farmers.
“The impact of cannabis farms like this has a notable effect on our communities.
“Some of the people who buy these drugs are those responsible for the core crime that take place in our neighbourhoods to fund their addictions.
“They commit burglaries, shoplifting, vehicle crime and as a result of today’s find, I hope that we have prevented a considerable number of these types of crimes taking place. Northumbria Police is committed to the relentless pursuit of those involved in organised crime.
“While this farm has been uncovered from a long-running intelligence operation, the majority of cannabis farms that we come across come from information given to us from our communities.
“We need this support to continue and for locals to be on the look out for tell tale signs.
“Common indicators include blacked out windows, unusual comings and goings at all times, noticeable high heat and bright lights from these properties as well as a strong smell.
“If you suspect that cannabis is being grown where you live, please contact your local neighbourhood policing team on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”