Tens of thousands of pounds in drugs have been seized and hundreds of stop-searches carried out by specialist police teams in Cardiff and Swansea.
The Operation Sceptre teams – aimed at tackling drug supply, knife crime and serious violence – were extended in July, with the existing Cardiff team enlarged and a new Swansea team introduced.
In the 10 weeks since those larger teams were established, their successes have included:
- Making 126 arrests
- Carrying out 459 stop-searches
- Taking 74 weapons off the streets
- Seizing drugs with a street value of more than £24,000
In the previous 12 months, the Operation Sceptre team in Cardiff – before it was expanded – made 220 arrests, carried out more than 750 stop-searches and seized 90 weapons and more than £82,000 of drugs.
The numbers are in addition to the ongoing work by a multitude of other teams within the force, including neighbourhood officers, response officers, territorial support teams, and others. Across the force as a whole, a total of 2,305 stop-searches were carried out in July and August.
Police teams across South Wales are this week joining police forces across the UK in taking part in Operation Sceptre week, an intensification of activity designed to tackle knife crime and serious violence and named after the original Metropolitan Police operation of the same name.
During Operation Sceptre week, officers, staff and volunteers will carry out activities including targeted, high-visibility patrols and knife amnesties during the week – complementing work that goes on around the clock.
Chief Constable Matt Jukes said: “Operation Sceptre week is a national week of action to provide a co-ordinated national response to knife crime and serious violence.
“Our work to tackle these issues is not confined to a single week, but is taking place year-round and being informed by the latest intelligence pictures.
“With both high-visibility and covert officers, we are continuing to make life extremely uncomfortable for those who choose to get involved with drugs, carry weapons or perpetrate serious violence.
“Our dedicated Operation Sceptre teams have played a huge part in our fightback against this criminality by supporting local neighbourhood teams in Cardiff and Swansea.”
Other recent work which has supported the aims of Operation Sceptre has included Operation Crater in Cardiff – which saw more than 100 arrests made between April and August as part of an effort to tackle drug supply in the city – and Barry’s Operation Populus, set up in July to target those who carry knives in the Vale of Glamorgan town.
Further activity has included a series of awareness-raising sessions with staff at the biggest nightclubs in Cardiff’s city centre. In total, about 250 members of nightclub staff will be given an input from licensing officers in the city.
Superintendent Wendy Gunney, force lead for Operation Sceptre, added: “We are committed to disrupting criminality on the streets of South Wales.
“During this national week of action, we will also be carrying out wider public engagement activities through community-based initiatives, such as knife sweeps and knife amnesties.
“As ever, we will act on any intelligence received, and I would continue to urge those with any information to contact us.”
If you have suspicions that someone may be involved in carrying a knife, or involved in drugs, you can contact police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.