Cynon Valley - - FRONT PAGE - THOMAS DEA­CON thomas.dea­con@me­di­

DOZENS of peo­ple have been ar­rested for of­fences in­clud­ing theft, as­sault and drug of­fences in a po­lice crack­down across Rhondda Cynon Taff.

Op­er­a­tion Avalanche saw more than 100 South Wales Po­lice of­fi­cers tackle crimes and is­sues high­lighted by the com­mu­nity.

Of­fi­cers ar­rested 28 peo­ple across Rhondda Cynon Taff and 12 peo­ple in Merthyr Tyd­fil dur­ing the tar­geted 24-hour op­er­a­tion.

Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Belinda Davies said: “Fri­day’s day of ac­tion was about work­ing closely with our col­leagues through­out the force and part­ners from nu­mer­ous agen­cies to tackle the is­sues that the pub­lic are reg­u­larly telling us mat­ter most to them.

“Our of­fi­cers tackle crime and ad­dress these is­sues day in, day out, but this was an ad­di­tional, co-or­di­nated, proac­tive and highly vis­i­ble ap­proach that we hope pro­vided our com­mu­ni­ties with the re­as­sur­ance that we are com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing our val­leys are a safe and pleas­ant place to live.”

Of those ar­rested, 14 have been charged with of­fences in­clud­ing as­sault, pos­ses­sion of drugs, pro­duc­tion of drugs, crim­i­nal dam­age, ma­li­cious com­mu­ni­ca­tions and theft.

Five have been re­leased on bail, five oth­ers re­leased un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion and one re­ceived a cau­tion.

Eight peo­ple were re­leased with no fur­ther ac­tion. Six peo­ple were given fixed penalty no­tices.

The peo­ple ar­rested in the Taf area in­cluded:

A 54-year-old man ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of racially ag­gra­vated com­mu­ni­ca­tions, re­leased un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

An 18-year-old man, of Maesy­coed, charged with send­ing of­fen­sive, in­de­cent or ob­scene com­mu­ni­ca­tions re­leased on bail.

A 35-year-old woman, of Cil­fynydd, charged with theft and re­leased on bail.

A 42-year-old woman, from Tonyre­fail, charged with theft and re­leased on bail.

A 35-year-old man charged with fraud and re­manded in cus­tody.

A 29-year-old, from Llantrisant, ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of pos­ses­sion of co­caine and cannabis with the in­tent to sup­ply, later re­leased un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

A 32-year-old man from Ely, Cardiff, charged with theft and re­leased on bail.

Dur­ing the op­er­a­tion, which ran in ad­di­tion to reg­u­lar po­lice ac­tiv­ity, 10 war­rants were also ex­e­cuted across the area, eight of which proved pos­i­tive.

Of­fi­cers raided a prop­erty on Carne Street, Pen­tre, where a large cannabis fac­tory con­tain­ing around 500 plants was dis­cov­ered.

Po­lice said one man was ar­rested at the scene and was later charged with cannabis pro­duc­tion, and ap­peared at Merthyr Tyd­fil Mag­is­trates’ Court on Satur­day morn­ing.

Through­out the day, quan­ti­ties of cannabis, crack co­caine and am­phet­a­mines were also seized.

De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Damien McKeon, who co-or­di­nated the op­er­a­tion along­side In­spec­tor Han­nah Durham, said: “This was a largescale op­er­a­tion which in­volved more than 100 of­fi­cers and nu­mer­ous part­ners.

“Every­one in­volved was 100% com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing Op­er­a­tion Avalanche was a great suc­cess, and I can­not com­mend their ded­i­ca­tion and pro­fes­sion­al­ism enough.

“The re­sults speak for them­selves, and I want to re­as­sure our lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties that while that par­tic­u­lar day of ac­tion has ended, our com­mit­ment to tack­ling crime and pro­tect­ing the most vul­ner­a­ble in our com­mu­ni­ties has not.

“Fri­day’s ac­tion was the tip of the ice­berg and our of­fi­cers will con­tinue to tar­get those whose crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties blight the lives of Val­leys com­mu­ni­ties.”

Of­fi­cers also spoke to home­less peo­ple to of­fer ad­vice; tack­led ag­gres­sive beg­ging; vis­ited gam­bling premises to en­sure com­pli­ance with li­cences; tar­geted rogue traders and sell­ers of coun­ter­feit goods; and raised aware­ness of home fire safety and grass­fires.

Ac­tion con­tin­ued into the evening, with teams vis­it­ing 22 li­censed premises across the area to en­sure com­pli­ance, find­ing five premises which had com­mit­ted mi­nor breaches of their li­cences.

A test pur­chas­ing taxi op­er­a­tion to ad­dress over charg­ing and driv­ers re­fus­ing fares was also car­ried out.

No is­sues were found in Rhondda Cynon Taff, but in Merthyr Tyd­fil 10 of 18 ve­hi­cles stopped were re­ported for li­cence breaches.

Po­lice of­fi­cers worked along­side part­ner agen­cies in­clud­ing Dy­fodol, Adref, Trad­ing Stan­dards and lo­cal hous­ing part­ners dur­ing the op­er­a­tion.

A cannabis fac­tory found in

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