Joiners Square cannabis factory sniffed out by workers
POLICE swooped on a cannabis factory after electricity workers raised the alarm when they smelled the drug.
Officers raided the terraced property in Bullers Street, Joiners Square, where dozens of cannabis plants were being nurtured.
Neighbours told how engineers from Western Power had reported a strong smell coming from the property.
A 33-year-old man was arrested following yesterday morning's operation.
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He remains in custody while officers continue their investigation.
Families told of their concerns following the raid, which happened just streets away from Waterside Primary School.
But they said the operation did not come as a surprise, after complaining of long-runing drugs issues on the estate.
Forty two-year-old Nicola Craggs, a member of the Joiners Square Residents Association, said: "I am not surprised this has happened at all.
"We have regular contact with the police who tell us that they are aware of problems in that area.
"It is concerning that the house is just metres away from a primary school, but I am sure parents and teachers do their best to make sure children don't see what they shouldn't.
"I know that community officers have been going into the school and talking to the teachers about the problems, so they can make the community aware of what is going on."
A 34-year-old man, who works at the nearby industrial estate and who preferred not to be named, witnessed the raid.
He said: "Some electricians had been working on the house and I think they reported it because they could smell the cannabis.
"The police were there for quite a while going in and out of the house.They brought loads of bags out. I assumed it was cannabis."
Another worker, aged 23, who also wanted to remain anonymous, added: "I saw the police and went out to have a look at what was going on and, as soon as I opened the door, I could smell drugs. It was really strong."
The raid comes just days after The Sentinel reported how police closed down a major drug production operation following a raid on a house in Hartshill Road, Hartshill.
Most of the upstairs floor and the loft of the house in were being used to cultivate the class B drug.
But the house was empty and police are now sifting through information in a bid to catch those behind the operation.
It is not known exactly how many plants were recovered in either raid, although police referred to a 'significant quantity' in connection with the Hartshill operation.
A spokesman from Staffordshire Police said: "Officers were on routine patrol in the area when they became aware of a strong smell of cannabis.
"After investigation it was established the smell was coming from an address in Bullers Street.
"Upon examination of the property officers discovered a cannabis factory.
"A 33-year-old man is currently in police custody."
Western Power did not respond when The Sentinel contacted the company for a comment.