BEN CAPLAN SEARCH: Police 'scale back search' for missing Newport dad and South Wales Argus worker

South Wales Argus: SEACH SCALED BACK: Ben Caplan in the clothes he was wearing when last seen SEACH SCALED BACK: Ben Caplan in the clothes he was wearing when last seen

GWENT Police announced this afternoon that they were 'scaling back' the seach for missing Newport dad and South Wales Argus worker Ben Caplan.

Chief Inspector Martyn Smith said it "seems highly likely" that the missing 30-year-old entered the river Usk on the night he went missing in Caerleon.

He said: “Our last confirmed sighting of Ben was around 11.45pm on Saturday December 7th. Sadly as there have been no confirmed sightings of Ben since then, and following extensive enquiries, it does seem highly likely that he entered the river Usk on that night."

He added: "As part of our investigation into his disappearance we have obtained CCTV showing a figure, who we believe to be Ben, heading in the direction of Caerleon Bridge at the time Ben was last seen. Whilst we don’t see him entering the water the CCTV does capture the water being disturbed."

He continued: “As a result Gwent Police has now taken the decision to scale back search efforts. Ben’s family, who have been kept informed throughout our search operation, have been notified and specialist liaison officers remain in close contact with them.

"Although daily searches of the river will no longer be taking place, we will continue to do our best to find Ben with periodic searches over the coming weeks. I would like to thank the public and Ben’s family, friends and work colleagues who have done their part in publicising Ben’s disappearance and assisting us in our enquiries. Our thoughts remain with Ben’s family at this no doubt difficult time.”

Since Ben Caplan was reported missing on Sunday 8th December Gwent Police has followed up on a number of reported sightings of him but sadly none of these sightings have been confirmed.

Police officers both on the ground and by helicopter and supported by the SARA (Severn Area Rescue Association) lifeboat have undertaken a number of searches which have concentrated on the River Usk and its banks.

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