Dogs help sniff out drugs in Newport

TWO people were arrested and cautioned for the possession of cannabis during a police patrol in Newport at the weekend.

Another person was given an £80 fixed penalty notice for possession of the drug and 13 people were searched when two specially trained sniffer dogs went on patrol with 28 officers in Pill. The two passive drug dogs - a Labrador named Cosmo and a Spaniel called Willow - and their trainers were loaned from South Wales Police to be used for the first time in Newport.

The dogs, which take just six weeks to train, respond by sitting down when they detect drugs as opposed to tackling the suspected drug offender.

The police officers, which included community safety officers, police dog handlers, CID and volunteer police officers then searched the suspects as well as their vehicles.

The exercise was part of Operation Prudent, which has been running for seven months and aims to tackle crime, including drug misuse, in Pill, particularly on Commercial Road and its surrounding streets.

This followed a number of concerns raised by local people at neighbourhood police meetings.

Newport West Neighbourhood Inspector Neil Muirhead said: “This is just one of many tactics we are using to try and respond to the neighbourhood’s concerns, improve the area and make Pill a better place."

Chairman of Pill Community First Local Partnership Board, Edward Watts said: “We know we will never do away with drugs completely but through operations such as this we can definitely tackle the issues and improve the image of Pill.”

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