Specialist police team marks first anniversary with huge drugs haul
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A specialist South Wales Police team set up to tackle serious violence marked its first anniversary by scooping its most valuable haul of drugs.
More than £2m worth of drugs was recovered by the Op Sceptre Team following the arrest last week of one man and a search of 16 properties across the region.
The seizure is the latest by the force’s Op Sceptre Team and its efforts to disrupt those involved in criminality.
Last July, Home Office funding paid for an extension to the team’s role in Cardiff, and for the establishment of a new branch of the team in Swansea.
In the 12 months since, the team has made hundreds of arrests, seized large quantities of drugs – including from the most serious class A – and taken scores of weapons off the streets.
Officers have also seized hundreds of thousands of pounds in ill-gotten cash, and millions of pounds’ worth of drugs – including the £2m haul seized in Cardiff last week.
A proactive stop-search of a vehicle on Thursday, July 2, in Newport Road, Cardiff, by the Op Sceptre Team based in the capital, led to searches of addresses in Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Bridgend, Caerphilly, and Blaenau Gwent, with a number of cannabis factories being uncovered. That investigation is ongoing.
Meanwhile, on Sunday (July 5), the Swansea-based unit made a number of arrests in separate cases – including relating to the alleged supply crack cocaine and heroin – and seized thousands of pounds’ worth of drugs and cash.
The latest results mean that since the start of July 2019, the Cardiff and Swansea units together have:
Taken more than 350 weapons off the streets
Seized 180 vehicles
Seized £3.2m worth of drugs and £330,000 in cash
Made hundreds of arrests
Superintendent Esyr Jones, force lead for serious violence, said:
“The covert Op Sceptre Teams are committed to disrupting those involved in perpetrating the most serious violence and criminal exploitation on our streets. “South Wales is a safe place to live and work, and we are absolutely committed to ensuring that stays the case. Criminal exploitation and violence will not be tolerated and we will continue to be relentless in our pursuit of those who bring misery to our communities. “We encourage anyone with information to report issues to us via 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers.”
The work of the Op Sceptre Team is complemented by neighbourhood, response, specialist operations, and other police teams.
Anyone with concerns should call 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or 999 in an emergency.