A BUSINESS owner is furious after police smashed their way through his building’s glass door during a drugs raid... before realising they should be in the unit above.

Steve Challiss, owner of CHA Construction Ltd on Vikings Way, Canvey, was stunned to hear that it had been broken into during the Monday morning bust, which saw 700 cannabis plants discovered in a “sophisticated” farm in an upstairs unit.

Officers cut their way through the roller shutters at the front of the company and smashed the glass in the door, only to find themselves at the wrong address.

Mr Challiss is now hoping for a written apology from the force.

He said: “It was 9.30am when I got a call from police telling me that they’d had to break into my unit so they could get upstairs.

"My immediate worry was that the unit was open, so I phoned my wife and rushed down there as quickly as I could. 

“I honestly could’ve cried when I saw it. They had cut a square out of our roller shutter, smashed the glass of my door and then when they realised they were in the wrong place they cut their way into the upstairs unit.

“They told me I had to clean up and pay to reinstate the roller shutter and door, before posting on Facebook about how successful the raid was with footage of them breaking into my unit.

“It’s pretty obvious that it’s us they’re breaking into, we’re on the same industrial estate and the only ones with a board over their shutter. You can’t even get upstairs through our business, the units are separate.”

The 64-year-old from Canvey, added: “We’ve been here for years - it’s our reputation that I care about.

 >> Huge drugs bust sees 700 plants seized in "sophisticated" set up

"To pay for all the materials will be about £1,200. Apparently they’re going to now look at my damage claim, but will be speaking with the legal team.

“Of course mistakes happen, but all I want is an apology.

“I support Essex Police and all that they do, including tackling this drug operation. But not to ruin me, my business and my employees’ livelihood.”

An Essex Police spokesman, said: “Our enquiries into the discovery of 700 cannabis plants at an industrial unit in Canvey are continuing.

"On the morning of the warrant, Monday July 27, the officers involved were given a full briefing, which included both information and intelligence.

"Warrants are fast moving exercises and when we arrived, we discovered the building had multiple units and officers initially forced entry to a business in an adjoining unit.

"This was prior to finding the offending unit in a separate part of the building.

>> Immigrants who came to UK to earn money jailed for roles in £2m drugs farm

"We would like to thank the business for their co-operation and their support and make clear that this business is not involved in our investigation in any other way.

"Disrupting the activities of those involved in the production and distribution of drugs is a number one priority.

"Thanks to your reports and the work of our officers, this warrant resulted in many thousands of pounds worth of drugs being removed from Canvey’s streets.

"While no arrests have been made, we continue to make our enquiries to find those involved.

"We urge people to report any information to us, no matter how small, to call Canvey police station on 101 or by reporting online by visiting www.essex.police.uk.

"Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."