DOZENS OF ARRESTS IN RCT CRIME SWOOP
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