GWENT police and crime commissioner Ian Johnston welcomed the independent review of the Operation Jasmine case.

The Argus reported yesterday that Wales’ first minister Carwyn Jones had announced the new probe would be held into the alleged abuse and neglect of more than 100 people living in care homes in the Valleys.

Commenting on the news, Mr Johnston said he hoped families affected would finally get some closure.

He said: “I welcome the news of this independent review and I would like to acknowledge the huge amount of work, professionalism and effort that Gwent Police officers and staff gave to this inquiry over a period of several years.

“I have an enormous amount of sympathy for all the families involved. Although nothing will ever take away the pain these families have suffered or still feel, I wholeheartedly hope they will finally get some kind of closure from this review.

“I think it’s vital for the relevant partners to work together and put measures in place to ensure that events of this nature are never allowed to happen again.”

The Operation Jasmine case never went to trial despite a Gwent Police investigation costing £11.6 million.

Despite the seven-year operation, charges against Newport man Dr Prana Das and his co-accused Paul Black relating to neglect at Puretruce Health Care and fraud charges against Das were left on file after Das was left brain damaged following a burglary at his home.

Six care homes in Newbridge, Bargoed, Blaenavon, Caerphilly, Abertillery and Ebbw Vale were investigated.

Welsh Liberal Democrat spokesman for older people, Aled Roberts AM added: “I believe it is absolutely right for this independent review to be established.”

He said: “The review I hope will not only include in its terms of reference those issues which might inform future policies and legislation in Wales, but also those issues within the criminal justice system which were identified by Gwent Police during the Operation Jasmine investigation.

“I welcome the appointment of Dr Margaret Flynn to lead this review.”