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£44,000 of cannabis is found in armed raid at Southend industrial unit
ARMED police seized more than £44,000 worth of cannabis from a Southend industrial unit.
Officers stormed the address on the building off Grainger Road, close to Short Street, and discovered 148 plants in various stages of maturity.
A man was arrested at the scene.
Armed police were brought in as officers believed there could be the threat of a firearm in the building.
Theresa Hipgrave, 30, of Short Street, said: “We have been able to smell cannabis in the road quite a lot for a long time. Neighbours had even asked us if we were the ones smoking it! But we don’t do that.
“We thought it was another of our neighbours.”
Barry Seddon, 47, also of Short Street, added: “You could smell it a lot. I think they had a break-in there a few weeks ago.”
One nearby business owner, who asked not to be named, said: “The police came here this morning and told us to stay indoors as there were going to be armed police around. They asked us where the power supply was as they wanted to cut it off to that building.
“There wasn’t much noise or anything though.”
The street value for an individual plant can be as much as £300, though this varies depending on its strength and size.
Supt Nick Morris said officers went in at 11am on Friday, assisted by the police helicopter, which circled central Southend.
He said: “We received information from the public regarding the smell of cannabis, which led us to obtaining a search warrant.
“We recovered plants as well as a lot of equipment used for the cultivation of cannabis.
“The helicopter assisted the officers on the ground because the premises is not like a standard house with a front and back door that you can cover.
“There was a possibility someone could have appeared from somewhere we couldn’t cover. We are very pleased with the result and would encourage other members of the public to report suspicious activity in the area.”
A 39-year-old man from Rochford was arrested on suspicion of cannabis production and has been bailed until November 18.
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