POLICE say they are committed to preventing the void being filled after alleged members of an organised crime group (OCG) operating in areas of Wrexham were recently arrested. 

Last week, North Wales Police released details of Operation Lardy which targeted a suspected Class A and Class B drugs conspiracy in Cefn Mawr and its surrounding areas.

A total of 20 people were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A, Class B, and money laundering.

On Monday (September 25), North Wales Police launched a follow-up operation dedicated to providing a reassuring presence in the community and stopping other crime groups from filling the void left after the arrests. 

Operation Vardo is a multi-agency approach that will see officers and partners out in the Cefn Mawr and surrounding areas engaging and building trust with residents and the community.

Officers are carrying out targeted visible activity and increased patrols, as well as covert policing tactics to hold the location, in order to prevent further organised crime groups taking control in the vacuum.

They are working with residents and partners to build the community into an area where people feel safe to live, work and visit, and an area less susceptible to being exploited by organised crime groups. It is the largest North Wales Police operation of its kind for a number of years. 

Officers have a base at Tesco in Cefn Mawr for the next couple of weeks - where they will be on hand to talk to residents. 

The Leader:

Sgt Nathan Harvey, of the Wrexham Rural policing team, said: "We're going to be in the community, engaging with members of the public and providing them with reassurance following on from Operation Lardy. 

"We'll be listening to their needs and concerns, but we're also in the area to identify persons that may be coming in to Cefn Mawr now to drug deal themselves. We want to target them and deal with them robustly to show the public we are aware of what's going on and keep the area as safe as possible."


Police said that Tesco in Cefn Mawr has become a hot-bed for shop lifting and other related offences. 

Manager of the Tesco store, Daniel Hyde, spoke to The Leader about some of the issues the shop has faced. 

"In my store this year we're looking at an unknown loss of £100,000. It's probably the most challenging time I've known for loss as a store manager for Tesco for almost 28 years. 

"It feels like crime is very organised at the moment - with gangs coming in and stealing from the store in a very structured and organised way. To see the police here for the next two weeks in our shop, talking to customers, being a presence and to see the activities and operations they've done locally is great news for me."

He added: "When we've been logging a lot of the thefts at the store, the police have been quite proactive in coming out to talk to me about what's driving it and how they can help. Seeing the officers here today is fantastic."

As well as being based at Tesco, officers from the local neighbourhood policing team were also out and about in the community, speaking to residents and delivering leaflets about crime prevention.