THE latest in thermal imaging technology has led to police in Sale uncovering seven cannabis farms in the past six months.

The equipment, which records this type of criminal activity using heat detection, is the first of its kind to be used in Trafford and has so far detected more than £200,000 worth of plants.

Last week police identified a farm containing 240 plants worth about £30,00 on Hampton Road. The equipment used to grow the plants was valued at approximately £10,000.

No one was arrested but police confirmed lines of enquiry are being followed.

Police used the piece of specialist kit, worth about £5,000, to take stills of the property and spotted an unusually large amount of heat escaping through the roof via a vent directed towards the loft.

Insp Brendan O’Brien for Sale neighbourhood Policing Team said: “This time the heat was easy to detect because it was coming through the roof but there are occasions in which the heat is directed downwards but we’ll still be able to trace it.

“With this new equipment I can guarantee no cannabis farm in Sale will escape our notice from now on. I’m confident we can eradicate this type of thing in the area.

“This technology is far more sophistaicated than anything we’ve used previously.”

The ultra sensitive camera can spot changes in temperature as low as 0.1 degrees centigrade.

The equipment, which is handheld, is on long term loan from the suppliers but Insp O’Brien also hopes to acquire a device that may be mounted on a vehicle.

Insp O’Brien added: “Using the new equipment we can distinguish any anomalies that suggest there’s a farm. It can also be used to scan areas of open land to find anyone who might be hiding.”