MORE than a thousand cannabis plants have been seized in Brierley Hill after cops received a tip-off about suspicious goings on and pungent smells.

Officers rushed to Meeting Lane on the Canalside Industrial Estate, at 11.20am today (Wednesday), and found a unit full of plants at various stages of growth.

West Midlands Police's dedicated cannabis disposal team were called to remove and destroy the plants - which have not yet been given an estimated street value.

Sergeant Marc Butler, from the CAPT team,said: “These plants have been seized as a direct result of information received from members of the community and we would encourage anyone who has information about suspicious activity in their neighbourhood to come forward and contact us - we will take action."

Police said they would be carrying out fast-track enquiries to trace those responsible for the factory which was found unattended when officers raided the industrial unit.

Cops are now urging members of the public to be aware of the tell-tale signs that a property has been converted into a cannabis factory - such as a strong smell and strange sounds from heating equipment extractor fans, frequent visitors to the property - often at unusual times, windows sealed or covers or curtains permanently drawn to hide what is happening behind closed doors, gardening equipment such as plant pots, fertiliser and compost being taken into a property - particularly if there is no garden.

Heat from neighbouring properties could also indicate an artificial climate is being created for the tropical plants.

Anyone with any information is asked to call police on the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.