Article by Emma Robinson: Police uncovered a haul of cannabis plants in a house thought to be specially adapted for the cultivation of drugs.
Seven officers from the Basildon community policing team acted on intelligence to raid a bungalow in Kings Road, Billericay, yesterday morning.
They smashed down the front door with a red battering ram before making their way inside.
Inside, they found a room filled with 24 small cannabis plants, which have now been confiscated for analysis. They will then be destroyed.
As well as the plants, there was electronic equipment to help the plants grow. Sgt Rob Maile, from the team, told the Echo that a fully-grown plant can reach a yield of £500 each.
If undisturbed, the cannabis factory could have been worth up to £12,000. Mr Maile said that the house was unoccupied and seemed to be specifically built for the cultivation of cannabis.
“It looks like the property had been manufactured to grow cannabis - it is not a normal house. It looks like it is deliberately built for this sort of thing. It is an empty property. We were anticipating some plants in a spare room, but that wasn’t the case.”
It is understood that the house was uninhabitable and there was nobody in the house at the time.
Mr Maile added:
“We are waiting for the forensic team and for a company to board up the door that we have smashed in. All the plants were about a foot high and they are not ready for cultivation at the moment. There was nobody here when we came in. We are not sure who owns or occupies the property at this time.”
So far, no arrests have been made and enquiries are continuing to establish who owns the property.
Police rely on information from the public about properties that are being used to cultivate drugs and urge people to contact them with any information.
Anybody with information about the latest cannabis seizure can call Essex Police on 101 or call crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
Alternatively, they can visit www.crimestoppers.co.uk and fill out an online form.
Read original article by Emma Robinson, The Echo