Swansea and Neath Port Talbot sees rise in drug trafficking since first Covid lockdown
Richard Youle, local democracy reporter
Drug trafficking and anti-social behaviour have increased sharply in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot since the first lockdown in Wales.
There were 330 drug trafficking incidents recorded in the 12 months after March 23, 2020, compared to 242 in the previous 12 months.
During this time there were 8,406 anti-social behaviour incidents, up from 5,947 the year before, but many of these were attributable to Covid restrictions.
The figures are contained in a report by the Safer Swansea Partnership – a multi-agency group comprising South Wales Police, Swansea Council and the probation service, among others.
Drug possession and what were described in the report as possible drug overdoses and possible drug deaths also rose.
But many other crime types fell in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot. These included commercial burglaries, down from 528 to 343, and residential burglaries, which decreased from 1,263 to 1,025.
Rape, arson, domestic abuse and child abuse reports were also lower in the 12 months after March 23, 2020, compared to the previous year.
Overall, total recorded crime in the two counties appears to be back to the same levels as it was before the pandemic, with around 2,400 incidents per month.
The report will be discussed on May 18 by Swansea Council’s scrutiny programme committee, which will examine the priorites and impact of the Safer Swansea Partnership.
Committee chairman, Cllr Peter Black, said: “We are looking forward to talking to police about their activities over the past year and what their plans are for the future.”
The partnership was set up in 1998, with the aim of reducing crime and disorder, fear of crime and anti-social behaviour in Swansea.
Its key priorities are tackling substance misuse, hate crime, and violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence, and fostering stronger communities and a safe, diverse evening and night-time economy.
The 45-page report also breaks down certain crime types in Swansea during the 2020 calendar year, rather than from March to March. There were 1,979 offences where victims of violence were female, 978 of which resulted in injury.
Also in Swansea in 2020 were 608 recorded knife crimes, which comprised possession (311), threat (200) and use (68), among other categories.
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