Yobs wrecking our lives, say Flintshire pensioners

Reporter:

Andrew Boyd and Helen Davies

PENSIONERS are living in fear as a result of anti-social youngsters near their homes.


Police say they will be increasing patrols on Sandy Lane and Orchard Way, Sealand, in the wake of calls for an increased police presence after continued complaints over the conduct of young people at night.


The streets contain a high number of elderly residents, who have been left feeling vulnerable by the actions of a minority of young people, it has been claimed.


“We need extra policing,” said Sealand councillor Christine Jones. “There’s a lot of anti-social behaviour. There has been stones thrown at parked cars.”


Cllr Jones, who is also calling for increased CCTV on the streets, believes the troublemakers may be connected to Sealand Youth Club, which is based near a pensioner complex on Orchard Way and meets several nights each week.


“We need a police presence on youth club nights to ensure the youngsters are in the youth club,” she added.


“They’re throwing things at the pensioners doors, hedge hopping and knocking on the door and running away. The pensioners are very intimidated by it.”


A witness to incidents on Orchard Way, who did not wish to be named, expressed her disgust and concern at the ongoing problems.


She said: “This has been ongoing for several months. It is very worrying for the elderly residents who live here and they have to see a group of youngsters acting aggressively near their homes.


“When the youth club is on the people who live here feel very uncomfortable. Something has to be done about it.”


But Rob Edwards, county youth and community officer, has defended the youth club, saying it provides a valuable facility for young people.


He said: “Sealand Youth Centre is an extremely successful facility for young people in the Garden City area. In recent years, a programme of improvements to the centre have been carried out, funded by a capital grant from the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG).”


He added: “It is important to offer young people high quality facilities, so that they feel valued. Feedback so far indicates that young people are impressed with their improved centre”.


Flintshire Council, which is responsible for the youth club, refused to comment about the trouble.


Cllr Jones’ calls for CCTV are strengthened after improvements are believed to have been made following the introduction of cameras on the Sealand Manor Estate.


Residents told the Leader that there have been less anti-social incidents in recent months, but some problems remain.


One member of the estate, who also asked not to be named, said there are occasional issues with groups of up to about 10 youngsters but he believes there is good work being done to combat the problems, including the use of CCTV.


Policing Sgt Antony Heaword confirmed police patrols will be stepped up in the area of concern.


He said: “We are aware of issues of anti-social behaviour in the area and patrols will be increased.


“The local neighbourhood policing team has a good relationship with members of the local community and we will be working to address the concerns raised.”


North Wales Police urge anyone who witnesses anti-social behaviour or who has information to contact their local officers or call 101 or 0845 6071002.

See full story in the Leader

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