Cannabis drugs den found in Biddulph town centre flat
THREE people have been arrested after police discovered a cannabis factory in a town centre flat.
Officers found the drugs den after smashing their way into a private rented apartment in Biddulph's High Street.
They were responding to reports of a break-in at the flat – which is above JW Clowes butcher's shop – at 1am yesterday.
Police later arrested a 32-year-old woman and a 47-year-old man, who have not been named but live in Biddulph, on suspicion of burglary and possessing drugs with intent to supply.
They were last night still being questioned by police.
A 31-year-old man, who has not been named, was also arrested in connection with the incident and later released on bail pending further inquiries.
A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: "We were called to a report of a burglary at a property in High Street, Biddulph, at around 1.05am on Wednesday.
"Officers attended and discovered the remains of a cannabis factory in the upstairs flat of the property.
"Offenders had forced entry and stolen cannabis plants.
"An investigation is underway, including a forensic examination of the scene."
Richard Heath, who runs the JW Clowes shop, was yesterday unavailable for comment. But shoppers and traders in Biddulph were stunned to hear that a cannabis factory had been in operation.
Tony Bailey, aged 43, of Thames Drive, Biddulph, said: "I had heard there were police around last night.
"I was really surprised because initially I assumed people were trying to steal meat from the butcher's.
"I was shocked when I heard about the drugs in the flat.
"You wouldn't expect this to happen in the middle of Biddulph."
Margaret Prince, of Church Lawton, said: "I come to Sainsbury's in Biddulph several times a week.
"I do go down the High Street and you would never have guessed this sort of thing was happening.
"I hope they have now caught whoever is responsible."
Paul Sawyer, of Poveys Oatcakes, added: "I was told that a couple of people had broken in there and the police found cannabis in the early hours.
"I was surprised but I don't know much about it, just what I've heard from other traders in the High Street."
Witnesses should call police on 101, quoting incident number 20 of February 27 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.