Police have smashed a huge North East cannabis farm which they say was producing drugs on an industrial scale.
A team of officers executed a search warrant at an industrial unit off Condercum Road in Benwell, Newcastle, just before 4.30pm yesterday.
Once inside they found a large-scale professional cannabis farm being ran from the premises. The value of the haul is about £500,000.
The farm of around 1,000 plants was so large in size that it stretched the entire distance of three industrial units.
Thousands of pounds worth of lighting and growing equipment were also removed from the premises.
The plants will all now be destroyed, and inquiries are ongoing to identify and arrest those behind the farm.
Superintendent Steve Ammari of Northumbria Police Central Area Command said: "Around £500,000 worth of cannabis is now off the streets of the North East, and a large-scale, highly organised and sophisticated cannabis farm has been shut down, all thanks to the work of our officers.
"The farm was so large in size that it filled three of the industrial units and it required four full skips to remove all the drugs.
"Due to the way the farm had been set up it was incredibly dangerous inside, and could have easily caused a fire.
"On an industrial site with other businesses and residents nearby this could have potentially put a lot of people at risk.
"The plants that we have seized and destroyed would have had a street value of around £500,000.
"That's a very very significant amount that will now, thanks to our actions, not fall into the hands of criminals.
"It's not just the production of the illegal drugs that is the issue, it is the damage they do to communities and peoples' lives.
"This is an issue that we take extremely seriously and we will not stand by and allow this to happen."