POLICE swooped on industrial premises in Sandleheath last week and seized cannabis plants and drug production equipment worth thousands of pounds.

The raid took place at Courtwood Farm last Wednesday and approximately 50 cannabis plants and a large quantity of production equipment was confiscated by 12 officers.

Later on in the day, as a result of information acquired in the raid, seven officers stormed an address in Wallisdown Road, Bournemouth.

They seized another large quantity of cannabis plants and production equipment, thought to be double the amount they had found in Sandleheath.

Officers estimated that the two sites could produce approximately £150,000 worth of cannabis per year.

PC Matt Parker of Lyndhurst police station said the team he was part of, the New Forest Priority Crime Unit, was pro-actively working to stop the production and supply of drugs in the area.

PC Parker said: "We had information that there had been a factory in operation there but when we got that information we didn't know what we would find."

He said that although they seized around 50 cannabis plants, the "factory" had the capacity to produce "two or three times" the quantity it had been yielding.

"The Sandleheath site would have cost thousands and thousands to set up because they had built a floor into the factory purposefully for the production of cannabis," he said.

PC Parker said they had seized some sophisticated hydroponics equipment from Sandleheath that had been used to grow the plants.

He added: "We will work on information we get in from the public and will act on it. When people are growing this kind of quantity they are making a lot of money from it and we need to take it seriously."

A 63-year-old man from Bournemouth was arrested on suspicion of producing cannabis and police arrested a 38-year-old man from Poole on the same grounds.

They have both been released on police bail, pending further enquiries and are due to report to Lyndhurst police station on Monday, August 20.

Anyone with information relating to the production and supply of drugs in the New Forest area, or if they are concerned that a property they are letting may be used to produce drugs, should contact DC Garnet Foster at Lyndhurst police station on 0845 045 45 45.