This is why police in protective suits are searching a Leeds building today

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Police in full protective gear are searching a cannabis factory in Beeston today.

The drugs farm was discovered in the derelict building on the junction of Dewsbury Road and Oakhurst Avenue two weeks ago, and officers wish to conduct further searches of the premises.

But asbestos has also been found so police need to wear protective clothing to avoid being exposed to the carcogenic material.

The searches will begin today and continue over the weekend.

West Yorkshire Police said:

"A warrant was executed at the premises at the junction of Dewsbury Road and Oakhurst Avenue, Beeston, on September 27, by officers from Leeds District Serious Organised Crime Unit.

"A number of cannabis plants were removed from the building for destruction before the presence of asbestos was identified and the scene sealed off.

"Asbestos, which is present in many buildings, can present a serious health risk if fibres are inhaled when the material is damaged or disturbed.

"A comprehensive search of the building is due to start and continue over the coming days with officers wearing protective suits and using other protective equipment."

Detective Inspector Phil Jackson, of Leeds District Serious Organised Crime Unit, said:

“We want to make people aware of what is happening at these premises to avoid any unhelpful speculation or unnecessary concern in the community.

“The protective equipment that officers are using is solely to protect against the risk from asbestos while the building is subject to a comprehensive search. The potential risk from asbestos is only within the building itself and there is no need for anyone in the area to be unduly concerned.”

Before the cannabis was found, the building was deliberately rammed by a vehicle before being set on fire in August.