Drugs Operation Hailed As Success

A combined operation involving the Bridgend Neighbourhood Policing Team, the police helicopter, mounted officers has been hailed as a success by South Wales Police.

Operation Atom was coordinated by Bridgend NPT Sergeant Mark Watkins and was split into two phases: firstly to target the misuse of controlled drugs in the Wildmill area of Bridgend and then to provide reassurance to the law abiding residents in the community.

The first phase involved 44 police officers who simultaneously executed warrants at various addresses in the area. Drugs were found and several arrests were made. As officers led out suspects to waiting police vehicles local residents began clapping.

Also used were roads policing officers and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology to identify vehicles involved in crime. The force helicopter was also engaged to assist officers on the ground, and remind members of the public via their tannoy ‘air shout’ speaker to help the police keep their neighbourhoods safe and ‘Rat on a Rat’.

Operation Atom resulted in six arrests for various offences including the supply of heroin, theft, and driving whilst disqualified. There were also 41 persons searched who were also believed to be involved in the misuse of controlled substances. Class ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ drugs were recovered as well as stolen property including three motor vehicles.

During the second phase the force helicopter conducted a fly over at Trelales Primary School in Laleston. The helicopter hovered above the school while delighted children were able to wave to the crew. The children stood in formation making a letter “T” for Trelales.

The head teacher staff and pupils were all delighted and very excited when they were informed that the police helicopter would visit the school.

Mr Clive Evans the headmaster of Trelales Primary School said: “The visit created many opportunities to enhance the curriculum through first hand experience of the varied aspects of work undertaken by the police.”

Bridgend Sector Commander, Inspector Jay Winslade-Gregory said: “This was a thoroughly enjoyable operation. Local police officers led these warrants and to see the satisfaction on the local resident’s faces was really rewarding.

“Lots of officers who took part in the operation have mentioned how satisfying it was to hear the applause from the community. Tackling drugs is a PACT priority for Wildmill. If you have a local problem that you would like us to address in your community, either come along to your next PACT meeting or get in touch with your local community officer.”

The force helicopter Inspector Gary Smart said: “It was a pleasure for the Force Air Support Unit to get involved to help the Bridgend officers tackle drug supply locally and also to see the happy children at the school.”

County Borough Councillor for the Morfa Ward Peter Foley said: “I thoroughly applaud the action taken by South Wales Police which has already greatly reassured residents in Wildmill.”

Photograph: Pupils outside Trelales School