A ZERO tolerance clampdown on violence, drug dealing and nuisance behaviour is being launched in Newport city centre .

All police vans in the city have been fitted with CCTV surveillance equipment to ensure offenders are identified.

Extra police staff will be patrolling the city centre during Operation Derker, which will run from 8pm Friday to 4am Sunday.

Shouting, swearing and other anti-social crimes will be dealt with, say officers.

The operation has been launched in response to a rise in violence and disorder in Newport during the summer.

PC Andy Gibbs, who is co-ordinating the operation, said: "Resources have been stretched with a large number of arrests in recent weekends and so we have had to be more tolerant than we would have liked.

"We are looking to address that with the extra resources and we will hold similar operations in the build up to Christmas."

In a message to weekend clubbers and weekend revellers, he said: "By all means, come to Newport and enjoy yourself but if behaviour gets out of hand in or outside the clubs it will be dealt with.

"Operation Derker seeks to reassure members of the community that we will not tolerate public disruption."

He said officers would be taking "firm but fair" action against offenders. During normal weekend nights there are around 10 officers patrolling the city centre but while Operation Derker runs more than 20 extra officers and four vans will be drafted in.

Special constables and traffic police will also be on hand to assist with arrests. PC Debra White, the crime and disorder reduction officer for Newport Central police, said the CCTV equipment would record anti-social behaviour and helpwith the identification of offenders.

She said the cameras on the vans had powerful zoom facilities and would also be used to clamp down on those dealing and using drugs.

Operation Derker follows on from Chief Constable Mike Tonge's tour of the city last Saturday night. He described the last two hours of his patrol as "non-stop" and by the end of the night all 24 cells at Newport Central station were filled.

The new initiative is in partnership with Newport city council.