POLICE stumbled on a substantial cannabis factory at an industrial estate in Ramsey – after reports of strange goings on in one of the units. Officers discovered 500 cannabis plants at different stages of growth. The routine visit was carried out by C

POLICE stumbled on a "substantial" cannabis factory at an industrial estate in Ramsey - after reports of strange goings on in one of the units.

Officers discovered 500 cannabis plants at different stages of growth.

The routine visit was carried out by Cambridgeshire Constabulary's neighbourhood policing unit.

They had been sent to the High Lode Industrial Estate, in Stocking Fen Road, after a member of the public called to say they suspected something "untoward" was happening there.

During a search police found "a substantial cannabis factory" on the top floor of the two-story unit. Police said the entire floor had been partitioned into cubicles with each containing plants at different stages of growth - some mature, some small.

The cannabis is estimated to have a street value of about £500,000.

One business at the industrial estate said they saw officers including a forensics team at the site on Thursday.

A woman, who did not want to be named, said: "We have seen comings and goings at that unit for a long time. There were top of the range Land Rovers visiting from time to time.

"We gathered there was, probably, a raid when we saw police cars and a vehicle with forensics written on the side."

The police raid was carried out at 2pm on Thursday. Later that day two men were charged with the production of cannabis.

Gerald Shortall, 50, of St Paul's Road, Peterborough, and Daniel Youthed, 24, of Mayfield Road, Huntingdon, appeared at Huntingdon Magistrates Court on Friday.

The case has been adjourned to a later date.

The discovery of the cannabis factory is the latest in a string of similar finds in Cambridgeshire.

In February police found more than 1,300 plants with an estimated street value of £1.5million in two buildings at Alconbury airfield.

It was as a result of a tip off to the police from a visiting debt collector who had been sent by E.ON to find out why the customer had not paid their electric bills.

A police spokesman said most of the cannabis factories were discovered thanks to "tip-offs from the public" and urged people to continue reporting suspicious activities to police.

INFORMATION: Call 0345 4564564.