Cannabis ‘factory’ in South Woodford raided by police

�Police seized �1,000 worth of cannabis and destroyed cannabis plants being grown at a house in a quiet South Woodford street.

The discovery followed reports from neighbours of unusual behaviour at the property and was made by officers from Church End Safer Neighbourhood Team.

They forced their way into the three-bedroom family home in Derby Road last Thursday at 6.30am.

Sergeant David Somerville, who headed the operation in which more than 40 plants were destroyed, said: “The quiet and residential roads are often targeted because criminals think police don’t expect them to be used for illegal activity.

Comings and goings

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“These were fairly young plants, so I expect the house had only been used for one or two weeks.

“It belongs to a family who have rented it out and we are trying to track down the tenants but so often with this type of situation they slip under the radar and we draw a blank.

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“Fortunately the three double bedrooms being used are not too damaged and it’s just a case of clearing things up.”

Chelmsford and Derby Road Neighbourhood Watch coordinator Frank Cruder said the incident was very out of character for the area.

“Neighbours contacted police as they were concerned about the comings and goings from the house because it is such a close knit community,” he said.

Shocked resident, mother-of-two Anila Banerjee said: “This is horrible to hear and I am really surprised. You wouldn’t expect this on such a friendly road that is full of children.”

Tony Barnard, who has lived in the road for more than 50 years, added: “I am astounded and didn’t know anyone like that was here.

“Most residents know each other as the road is a cul-de-sac but these types of people are good at going unnoticed.”

However Gary Glinard, a father-of-two, insisted he was not surprised by the discovery, saying there was drug trade all over South Woodford. My children tell me what’s going on and apparently there is guy who works from a phone box outside the cinema,” he said.

“There seems to be a market for it around here.”

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