Cannabis plants with a street value of up to £1m seized

cannabis plants Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption Cannabis plants discovered during the raids

More than 1,000 cannabis plants with a street value of up to £1m have been seized in raids on Merseyside.

The plants were confiscated in Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, St Helens and Knowsley as part of a month-long police crackdown.

One of the biggest discoveries was a 500-plant farm in Crosby, where a 22-year-old-man was arrested.

Ten people were arrested in north Liverpool after 162 cannabis plants were found in seven farms.

In total, 18 people were arrested and more than 1,000 plants were seized.

Two houses in Mossley Hill were searched and 178 plants were found in bedrooms and a loft in one house, with 47 plants in another. A 24-year-old man was arrested and suspected class A drugs were seized.

A further 200 plants were discovered in a secret cellar at an industrial unit in Naylor Street, Vauxhall.

'Death traps'

Other arrests were made in West Derby, Seaforth and Toxteth.

Supt David Charnock said many of the cannabis factories were "death traps" as often the electricity supply had been tampered with, coupled with heat lamps which increase the fire risk.

He urged people to keep any eye out for tell-tale signs that cannabis is being grown, such as windows sealed with newspaper and foil to keep the heat in and prevent people looking in.

"People may suddenly visit at strange hours of the night to bring growing equipment in or to remove drugs, yet in between it may seem like no-one lives there," he said.

As part of the month of action, presentations will be given to secondary school pupils about the damage drugs cause.

Merseyside Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said cannabis is "just one element of the serious and organised crime that brings misery to the streets of Merseyside".

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