THE police unit tasked with tackling serious and organised crime across southern Wales has been involved in more than 300 arrests and seized more than 30 kilogrammes of drugs during 2019.
Tarian, the southern Wales regional organised crime unit is tasked with tackling serious and organised crime across southern Wales and managing the threat posed from crime types such as firearms supply, county drugs lines, child sexual exploitation, cybercrime and modern day slavery.
In 2019, officers from the unit have directly arrested 47 people, secured jail sentences of 199 years for both drugs and cybercrime, recovered six weapons under firearms act, and seized 21.6 kilograms of Class A drugs and 10 kilograms of cannabis. Tarian have supported other forces and partner agencies which have led to an additional 265 arrests, secured jail sentences totalling 289 years for CSAE, drugs, fraud and prison offences.
More than £2 million has also been confiscated by the unit from convicted criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act, and four account freezing orders have been secured using new legislation introduced this year.
Officers use a range of specialist tactics and work closely alongside police forces and partner agencies to disrupt dangerous offenders operating across the Gwent, South Wales and Dyfed Powys Police force areas.
Detective Superintendent Richard Williams, head of the regional organised crime unit, said: “It’s been a really successful year for Tarian as we continue to grow and expand our capabilities.
“Thanks to the hard work of our officers and partner agencies, a large number of prolific criminals spent Christmas behind bars and we’ve taken a significant quantities of drugs and illegal firearms off the streets.
“We’re looking forward to continuing the fight against serious and organised crime in 2020, and protecting people across southern Wales from harm.”
Successes for Tarian this year include:
Operation Jackdaw: 26 members of an organised crime group who ran a multi-million pound drugs supply business across South Wales being jailed for more than 200 years
Since January 2019, Tarian assets have identified 80 paedophiles on line and worked with forces across our region and the whole of the UK to bring these offenders to justice resulting in 80 children being safeguarded. Several foreign offenders have also been identified and we have worked with international partners in those countries to bring offenders to justice.
Daniel Kelley, 22, from Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, pleaded guilty in 2016 to 11 charges including involvement in the attack where the personal data of more than 150,000 customers was stolen. He was sentenced to four years in a young offenders institution.
The Regional Economic Crime Unit utilised powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act to obtain confiscation orders against convicted criminals of £2,040,157.48 and the unit secured four account freezing orders using new legislation introduced during the year.
The Asset Confiscation Team (ACE) which is part of the Regional Economic Crime Unit recovered £770,491.02 from the enforcement of previously imposed confiscation orders, and also obtained 304 prison default days against those individuals who were not prepared to pay their confiscation orders or engage in the process.