POLICE uncovered a suspected cannabis factory during an early morning raid in Bournemouth.

More than 20 officers smashed their way into a house in Moorside Road, West Howe, taking the occupant and neighbours by surprise.

They struck just before 9am yesterday and a 37-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of cultivating controlled substances.

Officers arrived at the scene in two vans, three 4x4 vehicles and several other cars and blocked the driveway before smashing glass and using a battering ram to enter the property.

They called in electricity officials to make the property safe before examining the substances they found inside.

Neighbourhood officers then knocked on the doors of properties nearby to reassure residents and tell them what was going on.

Acting Inspector Andy Edwards of Dorset Police, said: “Officers from the West Howe Safer Neighbourhood Team, with the assistance of specialist officers, executed a Misuse of Drugs Act warrant at a premises in the West Howe area of Bournemouth.

“As a result of this a large amount of suspected controlled substances have been located.

“Across Dorset we take drug misuse very seriously and we will take the required action to ensure that our communities are listened to, protected and safe.”

He said he hopes the raid will send a clear message to communities that misuse of drugs will not be tolerated.

The man arrested at the scene is currently helping police with their inquiries.