POLICE have discovered a drugs factory worth an estimated £250,000 spread across four rooms in a North-East flat.

Officers were alerted to suspicious activity in the South View area of Ashington shortly after 10.45pm on Saturday October 10.

Upon attending, they were met by a strong smell of cannabis in the street and went on to locate a huge cannabis farm which had been set up in an upstairs flat.

More than 400 plants at various stages of growth were found spread across four rooms. The farm has since been dismantled and the drugs seized.

A man has now been charged in relation to the discovery and is due to appear before the courts.

Inspector Phil Patterson, of Northumbria Police, said: “This was a large cannabis farm that was being run in a residential area of Ashington.

“These types of farms often attract anti-social behaviour and other crime, so I want to thank the community who reported their suspicions as it has ultimately allowed us to seize and shut down a sophisticated operation.

“We still need you to be our eyes and ears on the ground and if you see anything that causes you concern, or doesn’t seem quite right, then please contact police.

"It may be there is a strong smell of drugs, strangers are loitering in the street or a particular property that may be being regularly visited by a number of different people.

“Quite often, criminals also bypass the electricity to run these types of operations which could have fatal consequences for anybody living nearby. Nobody wants to live next to a potential death trap – so if you spot something suspicious, please get in touch as soon as possible."

A 44-year-old man was arrested and has since been charged with producing Class B drugs. He is set to appear before magistrates in Bedlington next month.

A second man, 36, was also arrested on suspicion of supplying Class B drugs and remains under investigation.