POLICE investigating a possible burglary in a quiet Malmesbury street discovered a sophisticated cannabis factory instead.

Around £3,000 worth of plants at different stages of growth were revealed on Tuesday afternoon when Sgt Martin Alvis and PC Rachel Webb responded to reports that a flat in Hudson road was insecure.

After they walked in through the front door they found dozens of the plants along with lighting system and extraction unit.

A 21-year-old man was arrested a short while later on suspicion of cultivating a class B drug and was taken to custody in Melksham.

Scenes of crime officers were called to the flat, which is owned by housing association GreenSquare.

Sgt Alvis told the Standard: “We found a fairly sophisticated set up.” It appeared two of the flat’s rooms were being used to grow the plants.

He said: “This links in well with some community intelligence which we have recently received and I’m very happy with the result. We will continue to work on information when we get it.”

“I’m also happy that this has disrupted the supply of drugs.”

He added that GreenSquare had been contacted about the discovery.

Neighbour Carol Quinn had noticed a strong smell coming from the flat. “I used to work in the licensing trade and I recognised it as cannabis. You don’t get that kind of smell from a little bit of weed. It was really strong.”

This week she had mentioned it to an off duty officer who had promised to report it. But before anything could happen another neighbour spotted someone jumping out of the flat through a window and called the police.

She was out in the town centre at the time and discovered the flat being raided as she returned home. “I came round the corner and there were police cars everywhere,” she added.