Use of meow meow has "passed its peak" in Carmarthenshire
THERE has been a big reduction in the number of offences involving the drug mephedrone — more commonly known as "meow meow" — in Carmarthenshire, according to the latest figures.
The Dyfed-Powys Police statistics show the number of offences across the country has dropped by more than half in the last year, with bigger drops seen in and around Llanelli.
There were some 83 meow meow related offences reported in April to September this year in Carmarthenshire, compared to 185 for the same period in 2012.
Llanelli town saw a drop from 101 to 39, and the Rural Llanelli area a drop from 41 to 14.
In Carmarthen the number of reported incidents have fallen from 14 to 10, while in Ammanford they have gone from 33 to 16.
The police released the figures after a recent edition of the S4C youth documentary Hacio which said it was easy to buy bags of the drug on the streets of Llanelli for as little as £15.
Detective inspector Richard Hopkin said the use of meow meow in the county had "passed its peak".
He said: "Clearly the situation in Llanelli and across the county is improving.
"Llanelli town has seen the number of offences go from 101 to 39 when comparing April to September figures this year with the same period as last year.
"What recent national press reports have failed to explain is that the figures for 2012 were disproportionately high because meow meow was a new drug which hadn't been encountered to any great extent across other areas of the country.
"We deliberately set out to take a proactive approach to dealing with the issue so as to suppress it's use as best we could prior to it taking hold in the area.
"I think the 61.4 per cent decline in the figures in Llanelli town for this year show quite clearly that our approach worked, and that use of the drug has passed its peak."
He added: "Since January we've been running a voluntary testing regime in Llanelli and this supports other community data that the prevalence of meow meow has fallen significantly. Officers will continue to proactively target substance misuse. Anyone wishing to report information to help us can do so by calling us."
Mephedrone is a Class B drug, and is a powerful stimulant that is part of a group of drugs that are closely related to amphetamines, like speed and ecstasy.