Police uncover cannabis farm which had taken over former Home Bargains building in Morecambe town centre
Police uncovered a large and 'sophisticated' cannabis farm with a 'significant potential street value' after raiding the former Home Bargains store in Morecambe.
Officers from the Lancaster and Morecambe Intelligence Unit, supported by a target team and local policing teams, executed a warrant under the Misuse of Drugs Act on Thursday at the site of the former shop in Euston Road.
This followed concerns raised by members of the public.
Eye witnesses watched as police, including officers in full forensic clothing, entered the four-storey building.
Electricity North West were also at the scene to assist the police.
Inside, police discovered "an extensive and sophisticated suspected cannabis grown over several floors with a significant potential street value".
One man was arrested inside the building and following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, Sokol Xheka, 37, was charged with cannabis cultivation and appeared at court on Friday morning. An investigation is continuing into the crime.
A police spokesman said: "All this was possible due to the vigilance and support of local people. Be reassured that we will investigate reports of this nature and take appropriate action.
"Some people believe that cannabis is a harmless drug but it funds organised crime and promotes human trafficking, often with violence.
"If you see, hear or smell anything suspicious please let us know by ringing 101, reporting it online or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."
Morecambe councillor Darren Clifford, who watched the operation unfold, said: "It was great to see; if we work with the police there’ll be no safe space for drug growers or dealers in our town."