Page last updated at 10:48 GMT, Tuesday, 1 April 2008 11:48 UK

Cannabis den in ex-council office

A major cannabis factory has been discovered in former council offices by police in West Yorkshire.

Normanton and Featherstone Neighbourhood Policing Team said the offices had been converted to produce huge quantities of cannabis.

Police believe they acted before the plants could be cropped and processed, stopping the drugs from being circulated in the community.

The factory was set up next door to a primary school.

A Police Community Support Officer discovered the factory at former council offices in Queen Street, Normanton.

The suspects clearly had no regard for the local community
Insp Dick Jones

The offices had been modified to house thousands of pounds worth of hydroponics equipment and the windows had been screened off to prevent the factory being discovered.

The power supply had been drastically altered and had to be made safe by engineers from Yorkshire Electricity Distribution before the factory could be dismantled.

A full day was needed to dismantle and carry away all the equipment in four skips.

Insp Dick Jones said that "the loss of this factory will be a serious blow to those who planned and built it, together with the loss of tens of thousands of pounds of equipment".

He said: "The suspects clearly had no regard for the local community, setting up the factory next door to a primary school."

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