The Cardiff community blighted by drug dealing and antisocial behaviour

A general view of Christina Street in Cardiff
-Credit: (Image: John Myers)

Residents of a street in Cardiff are "tired" of drug dealing with the illegal activity plaguing their neighbourhood for months. Many people living in Christina Street in Butetown fear for their safety as they claim drug dealing and antisocial behaviour are a common occurrence happening daily in the street.

For those that live in Christina Street a night of undisturbed sleep is a rarity as the street is overcome with rowdy visitors making noise in the early hours each morning. One resident living in the street said: "It usually happens in the early hours of the morning. They play loud music, talk loud, and are usually smoking. It happens every day and has been a problem for the past couple of years since I moved here."

Many of the residents said they were afraid to confront the people causing a disturbance and instead "leave them to it". One resident told WalesOnline that anti-ocial behaviour has taken place at least once a week outside of his home since moving to the street in September last year.

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He said: "It is usually different people each time I think and it happens from late in the evening to early hours of the morning. There is shouting through the night. They sometimes stand on the cars and often physically fight each other. I haven't contacted the police myself but they are in the street often scoping the area."

As well as antisocial behaviour alleged drug dealing is also an issue that residents have witnessed in the street, reflecting a wider issue in the Butetown area. Drug paraphernalia such as hypodermic syringes, nitrous oxide canisters, and cannabis packaging can be found littering Christina Street and the surrounding area including fields near a children's playground. Join our WhatsApp news community here for the latest breaking news.

A box of hypodermic syringes found near Christina Street close to a children's playground
A box of hypodermic syringes found near Christina Street close to a children's playground -Credit:John Myers
Nitrous oxide canisters were found near Christina Street
Nitrous oxide canisters were found near Christina Street -Credit:John Myers

Residents say they have witnessed drug use, alcohol consumption, and the potential dealing of drugs in Christina Street on a regular basis and believe an "urgent response" is needed from the police. Residents told WalesOnline: "For an extended period individuals have been dealing drugs and consuming alcohol in public spaces on our street both day and night. This illegal activity is not only a blatant disregard for the law but also poses a significant threat to the safety and wellbeing of our community.

"Despite numerous calls for help to our local police station the response has been deeply disappointing. On many occasions the police have either failed to attend or arrived long after the incidents, which has done little to deter the perpetrators. This lack of effective action has left us feeling vulnerable and frustrated." For the latest Cardiff news sign up to our newsletter here.

Inspector Abi Biddle, from South Wales Police, said: "There are so many positives in this part of Cardiff which is rich in culture and diversity. The community look after each other and we find that police officers are warmly welcomed to events, into primary schools, and at places of worship. There are also some very positive diversionary activities such as the Tiger Boy Boxing Club.

"But it is the visible drug dealing, drug-taking, and associated antisocial behaviour that is causing concern for us and the community.
We are working hard every day to tackle the issue. Uniform officers target the street dealers, our plain-clothed organised crime team look at the bigger players, and we often deploy the CCTV van as an additional deterrent. Generally residents we encounter on patrol speak favourably of the police presence and the actions we have taken so far."

Over the past three months police say they have taken action in Christina Street and around the Butetown area to tackle these issues. On June 11 police were called to a report of antisocial behaviour in Christina Street. Officers attended and made a search of the area where a PCSO found a bag containing 37 wraps of suspected crack cocaine hidden under a plant pot.

Drugs found in Christina Street earlier this month
Drugs found in Christina Street earlier this month -Credit:South Wales Police

Last month a car found to contain suspected drugs including crystal meth, ketamine, cocaine, and ecstasy was stopped by police in Overstone Court. The drugs, including the largest seizure to date in south Wales of crystal meth, were seized and the driver was arrested.

In April police dog Scout the Spaniel found drugs hidden in Butetown joining officers and the police horses during a drugs sweep. Scout indicated an area and a package containing nine wraps of suspected crack cocaine with an estimated street value of £1,000. Inspector Biddle added: "We have a zero-tolerance approach to drug dealing and these are just some examples of the work we are doing in Butetown. We can, and regularly do, act upon the information provided to us by the public so please keep it coming and continue to work with us."