NEIGHBOURS have told of their shock after a cannabis factory with an estimated value of £15,000 was discovered on their street.
Police raided the property on Pedder’s Lane, Marton, after residents reported the pungent smell coming from the plants.
In the loft of the rented terraced house, officers discovered 37 cannabis plants being grown in washing up bowls.
There was also lighting and other growing equipment.
A 29 year old man was arrested on suspicion of producing a Class B drug and has been released on bail pending further inquiries.
One neighbour, who asked not to be named, told the Gazette of her suspicions.
She said: “I had seen young men coming out of the property at strange times of the day with carrier bags.
“It made me suspect there may be going on connected to drugs at the house.
“I saw a man being led away in handcuffs on Friday but didn’t know exactly what happened.”
Another neighbour said: “I am amazed there should be a cannabis factory on this street as it’s so quiet.
“It’s very close to Hawes Side Primary School and it’s quite shocking to think children could have been walking by every day.
A third neighbour added: “It’s strange to think this has been going on right on my doorstep.
“To be honest, I wouldn’t know what cannabis smelt like but I had noticed the curtains were always drawn in the house.
“Nothing really shocks me about Blackpool.”
Friday’s raid came just days before the launch of Operation Broadley – a regional crack down on cannabis cultivation.
Lancashire Police, along with neighbouring police forces, is working with the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (Titan), to raise awareness of the problem.
The force has pledged to take robust action against offenders and is urging members of the community who suspect cannabis is being grown in their neighbourhoods to call police.
Sgt Tony Ball from Blackpool South neighbourhood police team, said: “This was quite a significant find and has removed a large amount of drugs from potential circulation on our streets.
“In recent months there has been an increase in cannabis factories at residential addresses and we really need the help of those living in our communities to report any suspicious activity that they see.
“The smell of cannabis is particularly distinctive and it is often by following our noses that we find these kinds of set-up.”
Police have issued guidance on some of the tell tale signs of cannabis being grown.
These include, strange smells, frequent varied visitors to a property, gardening equipment being taken in such as plant pots, fertiliser, fans and industrial lighting and curtains often being closed.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.