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Jail for man who breached his CBO - he led officers through a river and tunnels before being arrested

Operation Dark Eye:

Jail for man who breached his CBO - he led officers through a river and tunnels before being arrested...

A man who led police on a chase through Merthyr’s town centre streets and into the River Taff has been jailed.
Maldwyn Ashton, 34, tried running from police after they spotted him on Thursday, 11 July – he was in breach of his criminal behaviour order which had banned him from the town centre.
Officers followed Ashton into the river and into a network of drainage tunnels where he was arrested approximately 300 metres inside.
South Wales Fire and Rescue Service assisted in getting him out of the river and he was taken into custody.
On Friday, 12 July, Ashton was jailed at Merthyr Magistrates Court for six months.
He was banned from the town centre in November after his existing criminal behaviour order, which was sanctioned in 2017, was toughened.
An application for a criminal behaviour order to be changed can be made when current conditions are deemed insufficient.
Officers were patrolling the town centre as part of Operation Dark Eye and were called to apprehend Maldwyn Ashton who was harassing somebody in the town centre. He tried to get away but officers – whose numbers have been increased in the town centre - were able to flood the area and track him.
Local Policing Inspector Ben Rowe, said: “Officers patrolling the town centre as part of Operation Dark Eye acted bravely to apprehend Maldwyn Thomas, putting their safety on the line when they entered the water.
"They did that because he was breaching the order and had been causing a nuisance to local businesses in the town centre. I hope that this sends out the message that we will not tolerate breaches and will do what we have to do in order police them effectively. We are committed to ensuring Merthyr town centre is a place where families can enjoy and have listened to complaints about drug use."
He added “What I want people to understand is that jail is the last resort - the criminal behaviour order is really a chance for individuals to help themselves, albeit often a last chance. They are designed to interrupt the cycle of offending, by prohibiting behaviour that has a negative impact on not only their life, but those in the community. Whether or not they comply with those changes, or accept support from agencies to help with addiction problems or things like housing, is down to them. 
"If they don’t, and then reoffend, they face jail, where their persistent behaviour can no longer impact upon law abiding members of the public.”