Wales

Hunting knife find sparks South Wales Police review

The knife found by police Image copyright South Wales Police
Image caption The knife was discovered in bushes near where a gang of young people armed with hammers had run past

A large hunting-style knife found by police called to deal with a group of teenagers armed with hammers has led to a review about what protection officers need on duty.

Chief Constable of South Wales Police, Matt Jukes, said his officers were subjected to about nine assaults a week, including knife attacks.

He said evidence also suggested a rise in drugs gangs carrying weapons.

He is also looking at the availability of Taser-trained frontline officers.

The announcement of the review followed the discovery of the large knife by officers who had been called to an incident in the Llanrumney area of Cardiff.

A group of young people were reported to have been armed with sticks and hammers.

When police attended, the group ran away but officers found a large knife in nearby bushes.

Following the incident, Mr Jukes tweeted: "Given the tragic and challenging events of recent months elsewhere, we need to be concerned by finding knives like these in @swpolice.

"Remarkable that colleagues continue to go forward into these situations. One reason that I will be reviewing Taser availability at front-line."

He said his review also followed evidence suggesting gangs linked to drugs trafficking and County Lines - dealing drugs from one town to another - were increasingly likely to be carrying weapons.

Mr Jukes said the review in the coming weeks would "look at how we equip officers to protect themselves, and importantly to protect the public".

He added: "There have so far been few occasions involving knives but in the face of emerging trends, I do not intend to sit back and wait for that.

"In the meantime we have specialist Taser-trained officers available to deal with incidents wherever they may arise across south Wales and it is important to reinforce that these are contingencies in an area where knife crime remains a very small part of the everyday policing challenge."

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