A large cannabis farm with an estimated value of more than £100,000 found above a convenience store in Gateshead has been dismantled.

Police were called just after 3am on Wednesday (November 29) to a report of suspicious activity at a shop on Kellsway in the Leam Lane area.

Officers from Northumbria Police’s Gateshead Neighbourhood Policing and Whickham Response Policing teams responded to the report and uncovered a large cannabis farm with 250 mature plants worth an estimated street value of £125,000.

The farm has since been dismantled and the drugs seized. Enquiries are ongoing to trace those responsible for the farm.

Officers also arrested four men on suspicion of burglary. They have now all been charged and appeared in court.

Inspector Craig Brown, of Gateshead East Neighbourhood Policing Team said: "This farm had the potential to generate hundreds and thousands of pounds in criminal cash, which could potentially have been further invested in organised crime.

"This discovery came about from information provided by members of the community who suspected something was not right and got in touch. Their information along with the quick response from our officers proved crucial."

Insp Brown added: "We'd ask members of the public to remain vigilant and help be our eyes and ears as we root out this type of criminality.

“We'd also urge landlords to be vigilant with who might be renting or using their units and premises.

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“If you see anything suspicious in your community, please let us know.

“Your information could result in us bringing effective justice against criminals who are operating in your area.”

Anyone with concerns about suspected criminality in their community is encouraged to contact police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of our website or by calling 101. In an emergency, always ring 999.