Northern Ireland

Police shut down a £500k cannabis factory in Bangor

The police have shut down a cannabis factory in County Down after seizing drugs with a street value of about £500,000.

Cannabis plants were seized from a private property on the Newtownards Road in Bangor.

Police also seized heating and lighting equipment used in hydroponics, a method used to grow cannabis.

The operation was carried out by detectives from the PSNI organised crime squad.

Each room had been fitted with lighting, heating and water in order for the plants to grow.

Drugs

On Friday, Detective Inspector Douglas Grant said that while "a substantial amount of drugs have now been removed from the streets, cannabis factories like the one shut down today pose a serious health risk to the public".

He said: "We have taken a huge amount of drugs out of circulation and believe today's actions may have saved lives and prevented substantial damage to property.

"The equipment these criminals were using was installed in a dangerous manner, which exposed the property, adjoining properties and members of the local community to the danger of fire."

The police said the operation was the work of an organised crime gang.

They have also appealed for landlords and estate agents to check their rental properties.