Police ‘Winning’ South Wales Drugs War

A police chief says officers are winning the war on drugs in a Gwent town. Inspector Marc Budden says new legislation allowing police in Abergavenny to serve notices on suspected drug dens is already having a massive impact on the community.

“It’s very successful and has caused a dramatic improvement on peoples’ quality of lives,” he said. Inspector Budden added this, together with ongoing operations, meant officers were now more proactive than ever in stamping down on drugs in the town. “If you’re using or selling drugs expect us to come calling very soon,” he said.

The new powers, granted by the Anti-Social Behaviour Act, mean police can grant an interim “crackhouse” closure notice on a property where they suspect drugs misuse and anti-social behaviour.

Earlier this week, police closed down a one-bedroom council flat in St Andrew’s Crescent, Abergavenny, following reports it was being used in the supply of heroin and amphetamine.

Used syringes were found in lawn areas where children play near the suspected “crack den”, police said. The flat will now be sealed off and access to it will be prohibited for three months.

This is the second time officers in Monmouthshire have used the powers. The first was in December 2005, at Ysguborwen, Abergavenny.

Inspector Budden said they are also planning another ion track operation, where people in pubs are swabbed to see if they have been in contact with drugs. A similar operation before Christmas resulted in two men being charged with possessing class A drugs and one cautioned.