A large cannabis factory worth around £850,000 was uncovered at a disused former Birmingham city centre pub after police received reports of ‘suspicious activity’. Officers were alerted to unusual behaviour at a property in Milk Street, at the junction of Coventry Street in Digbeth, shortly before 6.30pm on Tuesday (May 17).
Officers attended and found a large cannabis farm with some 849 plants, with the electricity bypassed at the premises. The police worked overnight in a bid to make the premises safe and requested the help of the fire service after detecting a strong gas smell was found on Wednesday (May 18) morning.
West Midlands Fire Service sent crews from Highgate and Ladywood to the scene a total of nine firefighters, having received a call shortly after 11am. The Ladywood team Tweeted that it had been called to ‘make a void property used to grow cannabis safe’.
A spokesperson for the brigade said: “We were requested by Police to attend a void public house with a strong smell of gas. Our crews, wearing breathing apparatus and using gas monitors, located and made safe two large gas canisters at the premises.
“The site was being used as a cannabis factory, with around 600 plants of varying sizes being cultivated at the site. A full search of the premises was made by fire service personnel and they closed any cylinders they found.
“The incident was left with West Midlands Police to arrange disposal of the cylinders and to secure the site.”
West Midlands Police’s specialist cannabis disposal team was called to the incident. It Tweeted: “Fire were alerted on Wednesday (May 18) at a cannabis farm in Digbeth due to a gas leak detected inside.
“There are so many risks/dangers that aren’t always visible but from working together we can get the job done! 849 plants seized in total!” The fire crews left the scene shortly after midday.
A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: “We were called to Milk Street in Birmingham just before 6.30pm on Tuesday (May 17) following a report of suspicious activity. A cannabis factory was uncovered and the electricity had been bypassed.