Drugs worth more than £3.5m and 84 weapons have recently been seized by policing teams tackling knife crime across South Wales.
These latest figures are revealed as South Wales Police joins police forces across the UK in Operation Sceptre – a national week of action to tackle knife crime.
Op Sceptre week will run from Monday 15 November to Sunday, 21 November 2021.
Superintendent Esyr Jones, Force Lead for Serious Violence, said:
“Levels of knife offences in the UK have risen over the last few years, and sadly South Wales is no different to anywhere else in that respect. “But South Wales remains a safe place, tackling knife crime is a priority for the force and we continue to see positive results.”
South Wales Police has two Op Sceptre Teams covering Cardiff & The Vale of Glamorgan, and Swansea & Neath Port Talbot.
The team, made up of high-visibility and covert officers, are on the streets 24 / 7 making it uncomfortable for anyone who matches the profile of those involved in knife crime.
Since April, the teams have:
* recovered drugs worth £3.7m and £157,000 cash.
* arrested 284 people
* seized 84 weapons
* carried out 1,143 stop searches.
The weapons that our Op Sceptre team seize on a regular basis are a reminder of the violence that comes with the drugs trade.
Superintendent Esyr Jones added:
“Our Op Sceptre teams relentlessly pursue those involved in serious violence and associated criminality, to protect those being exploited and to keep our streets safe. “Incidents involving knives can have tragic consequences, which is why tackling knife crime and putting a stop to serious violence is an absolute priority for us.”
Some recent examples of proactive work by our Op Sceptre teams:
Our Cardiff and Vale Op Sceptre Team recently seized a kilo of heroin, estimated to be worth up to £56k, following a stop check of a car in Grangetown.
Two men were arrested in the vehicle and their home address were searched, leading to one man being charged with possession with intent to supply heroin and possession of cannabis.
The Op Sceptre Team were on patrol in an unmarked police car following concerns about knife crime and drug supply offences in the area.
In September, plain-clothed officers from Operation Sceptre were patrolling the Mount Pleasant area of Swansea where they witnessed a suspected drug deal take between two men, and so began CCTV enquiries to track their movements.
Officers found and arrested the two suspects. One was found to be in possession of a knife, and the other a ‘burner’ style mobile phone with text messages advertising his drugs services.
Further house searches found heroin with an estimated street value of £600 in a trouser pocket and DNA on the trousers was a match to one of the suspects.
The individual with the phone was sentenced to four years and one month in prison, while another man in possession of heroin was sentenced to three years in a young offenders’ institute.
The work of the Op Sceptre Teams is complimented by Organised Crime Units and Neighbourhood Policing Teams who continue to be a visible and proactive presence in the community.
Families and communities can play their part in helping to tackle serious violence by taking responsibility for their children and young adults who are on the fringes of criminality or at risk of carrying a knife.
An offensive weapon surrender scheme is currently running until 20 December, which gives the public an opportunity to hand in weapons and help prevent serious violence.
Weapons can be handed in at seven locations:
Swansea Central Police Station
Neath Police Station
Pontypridd Police Station
Bridgend Police Station
Cardiff Bay Police Station
Cardiff Central Police Station
Barry Police Station
If you have concerns about knife crime, or you think someone might be carrying a knife, please contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or South Wales Police.