Drug dealers 'finding county inhospitable’
The cross-border supply of drugs may have peaked for the time being, Dyfed-Powys's police and crime commissioner has said.
Dafydd Llywelyn said the Dyfed-Powys force area had become “an inhospitable place” for suppliers from organised crime groups who imported Class A drugs into towns and communities.
He told Carmarthenshire councillors last week there had been around 300 arrests for possession with intent to supply in 2017-18, compared to 200 a year or so previously.
Disrupting the supply of Class A drugs is a force priority, and asked this week if he expected the number of arrests to keep rising, Mr Llywelyn replied: “I would expect it to plateau at 300, and my desire is to see it reduced.”
He said the high number of arrests reflected the force’s focus on the issue.
“The whole point is to make Dyfed-Powys an inhospitable place to deal drugs, and I think we are achieving it,” he said.
As part of one recent operation, a Birmingham-based group used vulnerable people’s homes to supply heroin and crack cocaine in Llanelli.
Police forces everywhere in the UK deal with this “county lines” phenomenon, and Mr Llywelyn said the amount of activity in Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Powys remained relatively low.
Dyfed-Powys Police currently has 1,930 staff, including 1,135 officers and 148 community support officers. Mr Llywelyn said he had overseen a four per cent rise in personnel since being elected in 2016. But a shortage of officers and other staff in rural north Powys has led to a recruitment drive offering relocation costs of up to £8,000.
Report by Richard Youle