Police officers raided a home believed to be a cannabis factory and seized illegal drugs during a half-hour search of a decaying home.

The Kingston home was raided after residents complained about a “strong and persistent smell” outside the property.

Five officers knocked at the address just after 8am on Wednesday, June 20, as part of operation Tenpin – a borough-wide crime cutting and community engagement initiative that takes place every month. Inside the home, among piles of rubbish, clothes and bottles of alcohol, police found some cannabis.

They also found two cannabis plants in the garden.

Police Sergeant Edward Mc Donagh said: “He said he just chucked a few seeds down. There is not much here so he is probably not supplying.”

The man was raided following intelligence collected over previous weeks.

Chief Inspector Bill Heasman said: “The reason for early morning raids is the element of surprise and that way you get optimum search results – but you could go in at any time.

“We need to have some evidence to get the warrant, but there is always going to be an element of the unknown once we are there.”

More than 30 officers participated in Operation Tenpin throughout the day in Coombe and New Malden.

Speeding drivers outside Coombe Hill Junior School were stopped and warned by officers and children from the school equipped with speed guns.

One such driver who was driving at 36mph in the 20mph school zone said he was embarrassed to be stopped.

He said: “I should know better. I should not be speeding outside a school. Sometimes when police stop you it feels a bit blase, but it definitely makes a difference when the kids do.”

Three drivers were stopped in the half-hour sped detection slot with the fastest driver driving at 38 miles per hour.

Inspector Jaiye Warwick-Saunders said: “Interacting with younger ones in a non-confrontational way helps them as they get older to be more trusting of the police.

“I hate it when parents say ‘stop being naughty or the policeman will lock you up’. I don’t want children to be scared of us, I want them to approach us when they are lost.” Other activities on the day included burglary patrols in hot spots and licensing and trading standards visits.

* Police said one person was later arrested for possession of cannabis with more expected.