A DRUGS raid carried out by neighbourhood officers led to the discovery of a large cannabis farm in a Hartlepool home.

The Hartlepool Community Safety Team acted on information supplied by the public and raided the property on Penrhyn Street on Tuesday afternoon.

A large cannabis farm with dozens of mature plants was recovered from the house.

Sergeant Ian Raine of the Hartlepool Neighbourhood Police Team said: "We actively encourage members of our local communities to report any concerns they may have, allowing us to act on the information provided and take positive action."

The cannabis growing area was rigged with special lighting, heating and ventilation to encourage the cannabis plants to flourish.

Such home-made operations pose a fire risk due to the excessive amount of electricity needed to work lighting and fans.

The necessary cabling and electrical connections are normally installed by people with no professional experience and as such pose a real danger.

Sgt Raine said: "Cannabis farms pose a serious fire risk to local residents and are a major contributor to organised crime."

The Hartlepool team's action came just a week after Cleveland Police raided a property in Seaton Carew.

That operation, carried out by Cleveland Police's Community Drug Enforcement Team, uncovered a major cannabis production farm with drugs worth tens of thousands of pounds.

The officers seized around 200 cannabis plants from the property which had an estimated worth of around £150,000.

No one was arrested and enquiries are ongoing.