POTENTIALLY-lethal booby traps were found in a Newport cannabis factory.

Now police across Gwent are being warned of the discovery of several dangerous booby-traps at a house in Newport where police discovered a large number of cannabis plants and extensive growing equipment.

These included a series of 10-inch metal skewers set up inside window frames, and concealed beneath a thin sheet of cardboard, so intruders would not see them until it was too late.

The cannabis growers had also rerouted the electricity supply and used it to create high voltage wires running across door and window frames, which were accessible from the outside of the house, so that a single touch by an intruder could deliver a potentially fatal electric shock.

Officers were sent the warning which included several graphic photographs of the traps, so they are aware of the potential risks to their safety when raiding similar properties.

Detective Chief Superintendent Ray Wise, head of Gwent CID, told the Argus: "This recent example presented a significant risk to visitors to these premises and to police officers.

"It may be that this development is to protect the drugs from other drug gangs, rather than targetting police or landlords.

"But our advice to the public, to landlords, or estate agents is if you see anything suspicious, do not investigate yourself.

"Call the police and let us handle it.

"We have developed procedures for dealing with cannabis factories to keep officers safe."

He added: "While this was a one-off, our concern is that this practice may well become more commonplace.

"The people who are cultivating cannabis within domestic houses are organised crime groups.

Their sole concern is to protect the drugs and make money.

"They care little for the safety of other people who may enter the premises."

Gwent Police have uncovered 38 cannabis factories since October 2006 as part of a force-wide drive to expose the network of producers in the area - most in or around Newport.

Anyone who suspects a premises near them is being used as a cannabis factory should call Gwent Police on 01633 838111 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.