Powys residents are being asked to be vigilant and to speak up about organised crime to stop exploitation.

A new digital campaign by Crimestoppers highlights that whilst the Dyfed-Powys area is one of the safest places to live in the UK, criminals are attempting to expand their activities into Powys.

Whether trying to establish ‘County Lines’ drug dealing networks, or set up cannabis factories, these activities, often linked to organised crime groups, can exploit the vulnerable and cause harm to communities and legitimate businesses.

Last month, 17 people from Newtown, Welshpool and Llandrindod Wells were jailed after a successful large-scale operation targeting drug dealers in Mid Wales, where more than £10,000 worth of heroin and crack cocaine was seized.

'Project Diogel' aims to help prevent serious violence and organised crime through awareness raising with communities, encouraging them to be vigilant and speak up about crime concerns. Crimestoppers says community information from residents and businesses, whether to the authorities, or anonymously via the charity, is vital to stopping criminals in their tracks.

Detective Superintendent Estelle Hopkin-Davies said: “Whilst Dyfed-Powys is one of the safest places to live in the UK, we are not complacent about the broad and determined reach of organised crime across rural Wales. We’re supporting Crimestoppers’ campaign to help keep Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys safe by preventing serious organised crime.


“Through Project Diogel, we’re working with our partners to make Dyfed-Powys a hostile place for organised crime, and to protect our communities. We want to put a stop to drug dealing and crimes that are fuelled by it, such as drug manufacturing, modern slavery and exploitation, burglary and theft, weapons and violence.

"Your information can help prevent the exploitation and damage these criminals inflict on our residents and communities. Our plea is that you identify when something isn’t right in your community and you tell us about it. If it feels wrong, it probably is. You don’t have to be certain, just concerned.”

Ella Rabaiotti, Crimestoppers Wales manager, said: “Dyfed-Powys is a beautiful place to live and work, however there are some who wish to spoil this. We’re working with a range of organisations across the region as part of ‘Project Diogel’- a partnership approach to preventing and stopping serious violence and organised crime.

"However, we cannot do this without the help of residents and businesses; everyone has a part to play in preventing crime."

Crimestoppers is encouraging property landlords, letting agents and those running hotel and guest accommodation to be alert to criminals using their premises. Signs to spot may include offers to pay upfront in cash, appears affluent but wants to rent an inexpensive property, unable to provide landlord or employment references, prefers to pay rent in cash without good justification, and prevents property inspections when given reasonable notice.

Ms Rabaiotti added: “If you have any information or suspect organised crime, please let our charity know. You can speak safely to our contact centre on freephone 0800 555 111 or use our untraceable online form. You will remain 100 per cent anonymous. Always. We will never ask for your name and your phone call or online report will never be traced.”