The death of 13 year old Carson Price in Ystrad Mynach has sent shock waves through the community.
This was a terrible tragedy and my thoughts, and deepest sympathies, remain with Carson’s family and friends who must now come to terms with his loss.
Although police are currently unable to confirm the cause of death, one of the main lines of their enquiry has been that Carson may have taken an ecstasy-based drug called Donkey Kong.
A 14 year old boy from the area was subsequently arrested on suspicion of supplying class A controlled drugs.
Following investigations, he has been bailed and released from custody, and Gwent Police are seeking charging advice from the Crown Prosecution Service.
Specialist officers are supporting the family and the local schools opened over the holidays to offer support to their pupils.
However, there are no doubt many children and young people out there who will be deeply affected by this incident but are unable to speak out and ask for the help they need.
They may be afraid of getting into trouble, too upset to talk, or even embarrassed to admit they need some support. They may simply not know where to turn.
So I want to use this column to highlight some useful services that provide support and advice to young people. I would ask readers to pass these details on to any young people that they think might need them.
Childline is a confidential counselling service for children and young people. Their contact number is 0800 1111 and they have an online chat facility on their website www.childline.org.uk.
Fearless is the Crimestoppers Youth Service and allows young people to report crime anonymously online at www.fearless.org.
Meic Cymru is another helpline for children and young people. Their contact number is 080 880 23456 and they also have an online chat function on their website www.meiccymru.org.
N-Gage is a substance misuse advice service for young people. Their contact number is 03333 202751 and website www.choices.cymru/get-help/in-your-area/new-gwent-wide-young-persons-services.
I must commend the officers and police staff who have been dealing with this tragic case.
The support Gwent Police has provided to the family, and the reassurance and advice that the police and their partner agencies have offered to the local community has been timely and effective. I would like to thank them for their hard work.
I would also like to thank the local community who have rallied together, and have provided the information that has allowed police to pursue this case.
If you do have any information that can help with this case then please call 101 quoting log 523 12/4/19 or you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Alternatively, you can send a direct message with information via the Gwent Police Facebook or Twitter social media pages.