THREE people have been arrested after cops uncovered a cannabis factory during a drugs bust.

Plain-clothed officers smashed down the front door of a house in Gifford Green, Pitsea, after a tip-off.

Inside, they found a back bedroom had been converted with powerful lighting and watering systems to help the plants grow.

Officers found 32 plants, which could have produced a cannabis yield worth £15,000 to £20,000.

A search of the property uncovered a machete on the tenants’ bedside table and chunks of cannabis being dried out in kitchen cupboards and in the same room as a child’s toys.

Aman and a woman were arrested at the four-bedroom rented house.

While police were collecting evidence, a second man arrived in a rented van containing hydroponics equipment, which can be used for growing cannabis.

He was also arrested.

All three people have been released on bail until April 9.

Sgt Ben Woollard, who led the operation, said: “As always, information from the community led us to this address. Essex Police will act on information to rid communities of all forms of drug activity.”