Parts of Shotton "under yob rule", claims councillor

Reporter:

Matt Jones

PARTS of a Flintshire town are under “yob rule”, it has been claimed.

Shotton councillor Elwyn Jones has hit out after he was left at the mercy of yobs for more than two hours while waiting for the police.

He believes North Wales Police have “abandoned” parts of Shotton, but police chiefs say they have been working closely with the local community and the safety of the public is “paramount”.

Cllr Jones said he had been subjected to a torrent of abuse and intimidating behaviour after he tried to stop three youths who had climbed onto the roof of Ysgol y Bryn on King George Street.

Cllr Jones called North Wales Police while walking his dog just after 9pm on July 26, but says officers did not arrive until two hours later.

He said: “There were three youths on the school roof trying to smash it in and break the lights. I shouted at them to stop. I was trying to be a responsible person.”

The special school has been closed since 2009 when the pupils moved to the newly-built Ysgol Maes Hyfryd.

As Cllr Jones waited for officers to arrive he suffered verbal abuse from the youths who had joined up with a larger gang on the nearby Taliesin playing field.

He said: “They started being aggressive and shouting abuse. It was frightening. I wasn’t going to go home because I had called the police.

“What are we supposed to do – stop going up there? I only shouted at them to stop it.

“By the time the police had arrived they had gone. I do not blame the officers who attended.”

Cllr Jones has already raised concerns about Dee Park becoming a haven for drug users after he found smashed bottles, drugs paraphernalia and butane gas canisters, believed to have been used for solvent abuse, strewn across the field.

He also bravely tackled a blaze started by teenage arsonists at the town’s Taliesin nature area, close to Taliesin Junior School and pensioners’ sheltered accommodation.

Cllr Jones added: “I have made a formal complaint. They have given up on policing the area, I genuinely believe they seem to have abandoned it.

“It is getting out of control. I stood my ground. I was trying to be a responsible person.

“It’s like yob rule. They think they can do what they want. I’m not going to be stopped going out. It is disgraceful.

“Other people I have spoken to feel the same. I know people who are frightened to go there.

“We want a decent place to live. We have got to tell the police.”

Flintshire Chief Inspector Darren Wareing said his officers had spoken to Cllr Jones on the night and at a subsequent meeting.

He said: “We work closely with the council and seek a solution with both the location and the people involved. We look forward to finding a solution and working with the council.

“We prioritise each incident on its own merit. Every request for police assistance that comes to our control room is assessed. We do have finite resources.

“Where we have names as we do in this incident we work closely with the Community Safety Partnership and Flintshire Council.

“The safety of the public is paramount to us.”

See full story in the Leader

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