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Police hunting ‘organised crime group’ growing cannabis in Newport city centre

24 Jan 2024 2 minute read
A suspected cannabis growing operation in Commercial Street, Newport in November 2023. Credit: Gwent Police via Twitter

Nicholas Thomas, local democracy reporter

Police in Newport believe recent raids have disrupted an “organised crime group” growing cannabis in the city centre’s empty buildings.

Another 2,500 cannabis plants have been uncovered in central Newport since the end of November, according to a senior officer, who said Gwent Police had seized £7 million of the Class-B drug in raids.

The force has made a total of 17 arrests to date, in connection with alleged drug offences, and confiscated a total of 11,500 cannabis plants, as part of what is now called Operation Forester.


Superintendent Jason White told a meeting of Newport City Council he could “assure” members the number of arrests “will grow”.

“We have clearly unearthed an organised crime group working not just in the Newport area but across Gwent and further afield,” he said. “We’ve got a dedicated team that has been allocated to the investigation, and you will see in the coming weeks and months some further proactive work going on”.

Supt White also said his officers had been tackling a spate of commercial burglaries in the city centre, which “peaked” in November when there were 25 incidents reported to the police.

Special patrols had worked, he said, telling councillors the force had arrested six suspects who had all been remanded into custody and were due to appear in court.

Since November, the number of commercial burglaries in central Newport had fallen, he added – down to 10 reported incidents in December, and a further five in January.

Council leader Jane Mudd thanked the superintendent for those results, telling him: “In this difficult time our retailers do face a lot of challenges, so it is really positive to hear the work that is going on, particularly in the city centre.”

Superintendent White also said officers had carried out an “extremely successful” crackdown on shoplifting, in Newport and Monmouthshire, in the run-up to Christmas.

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5 months ago

Thank heavens they have got that super-duper dangerous drug off the streets, have you seen what a crazed Ganja Addict can do when they are in the grip of that twisted drug?….. I saw one kid ’round my way laugh for ten minutes and then eat two bags of Doritos, my cat is still in therapy now.

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
5 months ago

It’s about time the uk took a grown up approach to recreational drugs and legalised their possession/use, especially marijuana.

I could come up with many reasons for doing so, 1. It could be taxed. 2. Strength (dosage) could be controlled. 3. Better education on positive & negative effects possible. 4. Free up police to concentrate on more serious crimes. 5. Usage would probably go down (loses rebelliousness). 6. Would lead to reduction in some crimes. 7. Alcohol is far worse and we have laws governing consumption.

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
5 months ago
Reply to  Richard Davies

When more powers are devolved to Cymru, including policing and justice, we could take the grown up approach.

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