POLICE in Wirral sniffed out a substantial cannabis farm inside a disused community hall.

Neighbourhood officers pinpointed the factory in response to information from the public that they could smell cannabis in Egerton Road, New Ferry.

The source was established as being a disused community hall and at 9.30am on Friday, police officers forced their way into the property and discovered a large number of cannabis plants inside.

Three rooms had been set up to grow the plants and two of the three had 136 plants split between them.

The force’s dedicated cannabis dismantling team forensically recovered the plants and dismantled the growing equipment while crime scene investigators photographed each room.

An investigation into those responsible for the cannabis cultivation has now been launched by Wirral CID.

Superintendent Dave Charnock, from Matrix Serious Organised Crime department, which is co-ordinating a month-long operation tackling cannabis farms across Merseyside, said: “This is a substantial find and a real success for the campaign as it was information from the public which led us to this area.

“One of the tell-tale signs of a cannabis farm is the strong smell emanating from a building and the windows of that building being sealed up.

“This appears to have been a community hall that has not been used for some time and inside we have found a sophisticated set-up with almost 150 plants, many of which were fully grown and capable of producing drugs with a street value of many thousands of pounds.

"It is pleasing to have taken these drugs out of the hands of organised criminals and I would like to encourage the public to keep giving us the information to that we can act on it."