A CANNABIS farm with plants worth an estimated street value of £26,000 was found today by police.

The Burnley neighbourhood policing team made the discovery in the Stoneyholme area.

Sgt Victoria Bramley said: "We are often criticised for targeting cannabis cultivations as this is seen as a harmless drug to some, however the production and maintenance of the growth is often managed by extremely vulnerable people trafficked into the UK by smugglers escaping violence or looking for a better life.

"Many growths are also managed by other vulnerable adults such as the drug dependent who are recruited to maintain plants in exchange for cash or drugs that sadly makes them more dependent on these criminals.

"Young people and children escaping violence or after a sense of belonging to a group are often caught up in using, and dealing cannabis, which can escalate to other crime, such as anti-social behaviour, vehicle crime, and violence.

"These children are encouraged to act as "runners" for local organised crime groups. These children need to be safeguarded by us.

"So, every time we take down a cannabis cultivation, we also start to disassemble a means to exploit vulnerable children and adults.

"We are committed to taking drugs off the streets of Burnley and we are also committed to keeping you safe and feeling safe.

"We will continue to target anyone involved in the cultivation, possession or supply of cannabis and other drugs. You can report this to us via 101, anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers: 0800 555 11 or e-mail the team direct: BurnleyNBHTaskforce@lancashire.police.uk"