First look inside huge cannabis farm uncovered in Sunderland basement
This is a snapshot of a massive cannabis farm discovered by police in Sunderland as they answered a call reporting a break-in.
Up to 1,000 plants have been seized by Northumbria Police after officers uncovered the large-scale underground operation during an early-morning callout.
As reported by the Echo on Friday, at at around 5.45am, the force received a report of a suspected burglary at a block of flats on Tavistock Road, off Toward Road, in Hendon.
Officers attended but the intruders had already left the scene.
Police found the unoccupied address had been ransacked by the offenders, but it was unclear if anything had been taken.
However, while at the address, officers found a large cannabis farm in the basement of the property, with the grow now dismantled by officers.
Inspector Jamie Southwell said: “The cultivation of cannabis is far from a victimless crime and can cause misery for those living in our communities.
“Individuals who grow cannabis may be directly funding organised crime, while others could be tampering with electricity supplies to power their farms which can have potentially fatal consequences for neighbouring properties.
“There can be little doubt that the community will be a better place now these drugs have been destroyed.
"We would always encourage anybody who sees anything suspicious in their communities to get in touch.”
Enquiries into both the burglary and the cannabis farm are ongoing.
It comes as the force revealed it also uncovered another cannabis farm in the city within hours the discovery in Tavistock Place, this time in Sorley Street, Millfield.
A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “At 8.17am on Friday, police received a report of criminal damage at an address on Sorley Street, Sunderland.
“Officers attended but nobody was present inside the property.
“While searching the address, officers discovered a cannabis farm with approximately 150 plants inside."
Anyone with information about the drugs farm found in Tavistock Place is asked to contact police on 101 quoting log 100 040119 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Inquiries are also ongoing into the Millfield find and anyone with information is asked to contact the non-emergency number quoting reference 128 050119 or Crimestoppers.