Dyfed-Powys Police’s focus on tackling the supply of illegal drugs is proving successful, the police and crime commissioner has said.

Dafydd Llywelyn has presented his second 'deep dive' report to members of the police and crime panel examining the force’s approach to drug offences.

He said that there had been a 49 per cent rise in drug trafficking offences between 2016 and 2018 and hailed the “proactivity” of Dyfed-Powys Police officers.

Mr Llywelyn said that the “marked increase” from 200 to 300 trafficking cases could be seen negatively but he felt it was a positive indication that more people were being dealt with.

However, there had been a rise in heroin use as well as its purity at dealer level and heroin related deaths across Wales.

A number of operations have been carried out to address the increase in organised crime groups operating 'county lines' activity across the force area.

Overall drug offences are down across Dyfed-Powys figures in Mr Llywelyn’s report show with 1,908 recorded in 2018 compared to 2,309 in 2015.

Trafficking offences had risen from 231 in 2015 to 293 last year but possession cases had dropped to 1,615 from 2,147 over the last three years.

“We are assuring the public that Dyfed-Powys is working tirelessly to impact these groups and working with partners and at various levels within the community,” said Mr Llywelyn.

“People travelling in the Dyfed-Powys area or living in the force area exploiting vulnerable people, they will be targeted and there will be a hard edge to the policing element to those involved in the supply and distribution of drugs,” he added.

“Drug disruption” operations from 2016 have resulted in 117 convictions with more than 421 years of total sentences and £23.6million of heroin and cocaine seized, Mr Llewylln’s report adds.

Two more recent operations – Regent and Cryptic – were awaiting sentencing results at the time of writing.

The spend for five such operations totals £119,569.

Doing more to “break the cycle” of dependency and substance misuse was also a priority the panel was told at its meeting on Friday, April 26, and greater engagement with partner agencies was required, said Mr Llywelyn.

He referred to “drug consumption rooms” and how focusing on the health perspective of users could improve matters with a “whole system approach” being the way forward.