OPERATIONS to disrupt drugs gangs are behind a spike in drug trafficking offences in Swansea, police have said.
There were 200 recorded drug trafficking crimes in 2018 compared to 145 the previous year – a 37.9% rise.
The latest figures for 22 types of recorded crime in Swansea have shown an overall increase of 4.3%.
There were reductions in six of the 22 types of crime – notably business and other non-residential burglary, which dropped by 31.2% to 399.
Speaking at a Swansea Council scrutiny meeting, chief superintendent of South Wales Police, Martin Jones, said the increase in recorded rape crime – up 34.9% from 192 to 259 – was largely down to increased confidence among sex workers in the city to report offences.
“That shows the engagement we are doing,” he said.
The 20,104 recorded crimes in Swansea in 2018 included three homicides and 1,665 stalking and harassment crimes
In a statement about the figures, South Wales Police said: “It is important to emphasise that crime is only a part of what our officers deal with and there are many other challenges we face, including mental health concerns, and vulnerable missing people, which our officers respond to and manage on a day to day basis.
“However, any level of crime has a detrimental impact on our communities and we are committed to tackling crime throughout the division.
“Crime trends do fluctuate for a variety of reasons. The proactive work carried out by our officers disrupting ‘county lines’ activity and drugs networks has resulted in an increase in recorded drug trafficking offences.”
It said officers targeted street dealers, and those higher up the chain in dedicated operations.
“We are indebted to the public for their support and information in carrying out this enforcement,” added the statement.