CANNABIS farms containing £24,000 worth of mature plants were found in two East Lancashire homes.

Police discovered 21 plants worth £8,400 at a house in Blackburn and plants worth £15,600 at a house in Rishton. Officers made the Blackburn discovery by chance after calling at the Douglas Place address as part of an investigation into benefit fraud.

After calling at the property with the DWP, police interviewed the 24-year-old man about the cannabis. He has now been summonsed to appear in court. A 21-year-old woman was interviewed in relation to benefit fraud and enquiries continue.

Community Beat Manager PC Emma Turner said: “We were actually visiting the address to assist the DWP on another matter but became suspicious as there was a strong smell of cannabis coming from upstairs.

“We know the negative impact drugs can have on our communities and we will continue to do all we can to tackle them.”

In Rishton, a cellar full of plants were uncovered beneath a large three storey occupied house. A drugs warrant was executed by police at noon at the Church Street property where they found 39 fully grown plants along with a complex hydraulic system.

Two men, a 50-year-old Blackburn man and a 45-year-old Rishton man were arrested at the property on Thursday. The drugs warrant was gained after concerns from the public had been reported to police. Anyone with information or concerns about drugs can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.