EAGLE-EYED officers found a cannabis factory while out on patrol.

The under cover units were doing plain clothed patrols of the Hythe and New Town areas of Colchester when they found the plants.

The cultivator was arrested on suspicion of production of cannabis.

In a post on the Essex Police - Colchester page, officers hit back at people criticising them for seizing the drugs.

"Whether you like it or not production, possession or supply is illegal and the officers have an ethical duty to prevent and detect crime," he said.

"Don't moan about it being a waste of time or of resources, because once found they can't walk away from it.

"To do so risks misconduct or unemployment.

"We weren't looking for a cannabis grow, we were looking for class A dealers operating in your neighbourhoods.

"We will continue to target the drug trade which drives all manner of other crime like violence, knife crime, burglaries and even shop thefts.

"Not to mention the abject misery that is experienced by addicts and their families as they descend into an abyss of substance misuse."