A TIP off alerted police officers to a cannabis factory, it has been revealed.

Police executed a drugs warrant at two properties in Dovercourt and seized a total of 279 cannabis plants.

The raids happened at two addresses in Marine Parade on Tuesday afternoon.

A statement from Essex Police said: “The community policing team were busy at work responding to information from the community, a large established cannabis grow was found within a flat in Dovercourt.

“Specialist officers were called in to assist with the safe dismantling and evidence gathering.”

The spokesman also apologised to the public for the disruption caused by dismantling the operation.

He said: “We apologise for the loud sounds of the shredder brought into deal with the vast cannabis plants found.

“We completed the dismantle as quickly as possible to limit the inconvenience to residents.”

Chelmsford Weekly News:

He added: “Cannabis grows like this are normally linked to a wider criminality that has a detrimental effect on both the local and wider community.

“We will always work to disrupt such illegal activity.

“Should you have any information about this or anything other you can contact your local police via the website, phone or in person or alternatively anonymously via Crimestoppers.”

Chelmsford Weekly News:

The police also released pictures showing the cannabis factory and officers at work dismantling it.

Giles Francis, 19, of Angelgate, Harwich, saw the plants being brought out.

He said: “I could smell the stench of it from a kilometre away.

“I could see there was two floors being used to cultivate it.

“The officers brought out plants in front of me, which were all five to six feet high and about two to three feet wide.”

Chelmsford Weekly News:

Dovercourt councillor David McLeod said: “To grow almost 300 plants it must have been going on for some time and if it’s grown in such big quantities it means it’s in high demand.

“Whoever discovered it and reported it to the police deserves a pat on the back.

“I’m surprised this hasn’t been discovered sooner and I think this is a warning to the landlords and owners of properties to carry out regular inspections.

“My advice to everyone is to be diligent.”

Chelmsford Weekly News:

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “During our searches, our officers found 279 cannabis plants and they have been seized.

“No arrests were made, and our inquiries are ongoing.”

To contact Essex Police call 101 or to call Crimestoppers anonymously call 0800 555 111 or submit a report on their website at crimestoppers-uk.org.