ON-THE-BALL beat bobbies sniffed out a cannabis farm while out on patrol.
Two community support officers (CSOs) were on patrol in Southwick when they smelled trouble as they walked along Southwick Road.
The officers picked up a strong scent of cannabis coming from nearby and followed their noses, leading them straight to a house.
After reporting their find, police stormed the house and discovered a cannabis farm during the raid.
Inside the house, about 80 plants were being grown, with an estimated street value of £24,000, as well as cultivated cannabis worth about £5,000.
Officers have arrested a 49-year-old man on suspicion of producing a controlled drug. He has been released on police bail pending further inquiries.
Police today praised the vigilant CSOs and said this should serve as a warning.
Neighbourhood Inspector Tony Carty, who covers the area, said: “The work of the CSOs is vital in making our communities a safer place to live in work.
“They see, hear and now smell things that a police officer on vehicle patrol will never do.
“The good work of the CSOs involved has meant a substantial amount of drugs have been seized.
“It is well known that drugs can have a devastating impact on those who take them and the people around them.
“We will not hesitate to take robust action against anyone suspected of being involved in either the production of drugs or their supply.”
In 2009, Pc Andy Howarth called on his senses to smash a £215,000 cannabis farm.
He was walking down Morgan Street, in Southwick, when he noticed a strong smell of cannabis wafting from a house.
He reported his suspicions and a raid unearthed 400 plants growing across four rooms in the three-bedroom property as well as sophisticated heating and lighting equipment.
Anyone with any information about drugs and drugs supply should contact Northumbria Police on 101 ex 69191 or crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.