TWO CANNABIS factories have been raided with plants valued between £50,000 and £150,000 seized by police.

Police officers swooped on a property in Derby Road to find around 350 cannabis plants.

These included a mix of fully grown plants and saplings.

They also found four carrier bags stuffed with harvested cannabis and two cans of pepper spray during the raid on Sunday morning.

Daily Echo: Police seized cannabis plants from a home in Derby Road, Southampton.Police seized cannabis plants from a home in Derby Road, Southampton.

Police say the plants have a total street value of between £50,000 and £150,000 and the harvested cannabis £3,030.

Just a day later, officers seized 90 cannabis plants from a home in Alfred Street at around 8am.

They confiscated around 90 cannabis plants and are working to determine the approximate street values.

In connection with the factory in Derby Road, a 43-year-old man from Southampton has been arrested on suspicion of cultivating cannabis plants and possession of a weapon for the discharge of a noxious liquid/gas / electrical incapacitation device.

He has been questioned by officers and since released under investigation.

Meanwhile, a 24-year-old man from Southampton has been arrested on suspicion of cultivating cannabis in connection with the raid in Alfred Street.

He has also been released under investigation.

Officers are keeping an open mind as to whether the two factories are linked and enquiries are ongoing.

Chief Inspector Ricky Dhanda said “We know that a lot people think it’s just cannabis and no big deal. We have also heard people say if it were legalised, all these problems we talk about would go away. It is not for us to get into debate about the law, and while the production and supply of cannabis is illegal, people are victims of serious harm, and people suffer – which is something that we cannot ignore. It is vital we take action in order to reduce drug-related harm and the associated crime to help keep our communities safe.

“The production of drugs is linked to hidden harm and large scale operations like these are often run by organised crime groups. Those groups are likely to engage in very serious violence involving weapons, such as firearms. They may also take advantage of vulnerable people, exploiting them or making them work in servitude. The money made by these groups is reinvested into other crimes, weapons, and firearms that blight our communities and cause serious harm – so the seizures we make are important. The true cost of just recreational drug use can be incredibly damaging to someone else’s community, someone else’s life.

“The electrical requirement to grow this many plants is also really dangerous and can be a huge fire risk, putting neighbouring properties, and lives in danger.

“It is also linked to anti-social behaviour, like drug-related activity in your neighbourhood, which can cause misery to local communities.

“For these reasons, it’s not just cannabis, it’s linked to serious criminality and serious harm which we are not going to ignore.”