A CANNABIS factory and plants with an estimated value of about £90,000 have been uncovered in Chester after neighbours joined forces with police.

Residents contacted police with concerns about the smell emanating from a Vicarage Road address in Hoole.

A court warrant giving permission to search the address was obtained within hours.

It was executed on September 11 as part of an operation by officers from Chester outer neighbourhood policing unit and targeted patrol team officers. A significant number of plants at various stages of development were recovered.

Chester outer community action team officer PC Tom Silsbury said: ‘It is difficult to put a value on what we have found but I’d estimate the value to be close to £90,000.

‘Fortunately, with the help of the community, we have been able to put a stop to this and we will now do everything possible to trace the offenders responsible.

‘I encourage residents to continue helping us with this case. It is not acceptable that they should have to suffer criminal activity in their community.’

Plants, growing equipment and drug paraphernalia were among the items seized. Forensic experts are involved in the operation to ensure all evidence is identified and seized.

Officers already have a number of leads.

‘I encourage anyone who has information to contact the police,’ said PC Silsbury. ‘Every piece of information is useful when we are piecing together a case. Something as little as a description of someone hanging around an area can often prove vital.’

Anyone with information should call police on 0845 458 0000 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.