OFFICERS from a community policing team have thanked members of the public for helping them discover and destroy thousands of cannabis plants.

Essex Police found a staggering stash of nearly 2,300 plants at a disused block of flats in Pier Approach, Walton, on December 17, following a raid.

The potential street value of the cannabis haul was estimated to be about £1million and within days a 29-year-old had been arrested on suspicion of cannabis cultivation.

The suspect, from Ilford, was subsequently released under investigation while force continued to look into the origins of the vast plantation and remains so.

The impressive find came as a result of intelligence submitted to the force by nearby residents and other members of the public who had grown suspicious.

Braintree and Witham Times:

Before long, an emergency warrant to search the abandoned property had been obtain which ultimately led to the discovery and destruction of the green growth.

Essex Police’s Tendring team has now praised the public for helping keep drugs off the streets of Walton and surrounding areas in north Essex by alerting them.

A spokesman said: “It is important that we know about and understand the things that are causing our communities concern, so that we can take action.

“Thanks to the information [residents] gave us, we were able to take action and prevent drugs, estimated to have a street value of £1 million, from getting into our community.”

Speaking at the time of the raid, Alan Mundy said the search was taking place in an empty building in front of where he lives.

“Entry to Seaview Court was forced, with at least half a dozen officers entering the building through a window and then another entrance,” he said.

“Residents here at Clifton Court have for some time noted odd behaviour at the building but I was surprised when police pulled up.”

To report any antisocial behaviour or non-emergency crime visit and use the police’s online 101 system.

Alternatively, you can use the force’s new Live Chat service, which allows people to send and receive real-time direct messages with online operators.