Officers raid 'drug house' to find two centrally-heated guinea pigs

Police have apologised after officers swooped on a woman's house expecting to find a "hothouse" cannabis factory – only to discover an electric heater keeping two guinea pigs warm.

Six officers in three vehicles rushed to Pam Hardcastle's Bradford home and she was shocked to be asked to return home from work. A police helicopter picked up a hot spot on the roof of her garage and it was assumed it was a drug den.

Pam, a primary school learning mentor, said: "The officer said they wanted me to go home. He said my garage lit up when the police helicopter was out and they believed I could be growing cannabis.

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"He said they had a warrant and they wanted to search my premises.

"It was unbelievable. My mum told them I had guinea pigs in the garage and would have a heater in there to keep them warm.

"But they cut a bolt off my neighbour's gate to gain entry.

"My neighbours told me police were everywhere. Everybody was asking what I had done wrong. It is embarrassing."

The police took one look at the guinea pigs, then left.

West Yorkshire Police Inspector Darren Brown said: "I would like to apologise for the distress this may have caused.

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"However, I would point out that these tactics are essential in tackling drugs across the district.

"I can also reassure the occupants that their details will not be kept on police records and I will be personally visiting them to discuss any concerns they may have."