Northumbria police seized more than £100,000 worth of illicit drugs after officers were alerted to suspicious activity at two separate locations in Whitburn and Sunderland on Monday, March 1.
A member of the public reported a suspected drug deal happening in the Wellands Lane area of Whitburn at 5.30pm before police arrived to search three vehicles where they located a quantity of cannabis, along with digital scales and zip lock bags.
A 19-year-old man was arrested at the scene and has since been released under investigation.
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At 7.25pm officers were called to a disturbance inside a house on Villette Road in Sunderland with shouting and screaming coming from within the property.
Police arrived at a quiet scene but shortly located a significant cannabis farm worth up to £100,000 inside an upstairs flat.
Chief Inspector Paul Walters, of Northumbria Police, said: “It was a very productive couple of hours for our officers who were able to swiftly respond to two reports of suspicious activity by the public.
“That information allowed us to deploy resources to the respective areas and we have now been able to take a significant quantity of drugs out of the hands of criminals and off our streets."
Officers said they thank those residents for passing on information and urge the public to help ensure Sunderland and South Tyneside remains a safe place by reporting anything suspicious in their neighbourhood via ‘Tell Us Something’ on their website or on 101.
Chief Inspector Paul Walters added: “With respect of the cannabis farm, this was an incredibly dangerous operation that could easily have resulted in a fire. Any blaze could have led to devastating consequences for anybody living in the area.
“Nobody wants to live next to a potential death trap, so it is imperative that communities continue to pass on any information they have or let us know if they see anything suspicious. It’s not an over-exaggeration to say that by picking up the phone, you could save lives.”
The cannabis farm in Sunderland is due to be dismantled by officers and the drugs have been seized, while an investigation has been launched to identify those involved.