PARENTS have been urged to take responsibility for their children after anti-social behaviour issues in rural Wrexham have been "escalating."

Earlier this week Insp Gavin Gilmore of the Wrexham Rural Police Team said he had brought in support from a drone team and youth justice partners to tackle a 'spike' in offences by teenagers.

He said the issues have included a range of criminal damage caused to vehicles and properties in areas such as Brynteg, Ponciau, Caego, Southsea, Plas Madoc and Cefn Mawr - with those responsible aged 11 to 15.

The Leader spoke with councillors in some of the affected areas to find out the impact of the problems.

Gwenfro Councillor Nigel Williams said: "The problems have been escalating over the last few months with anti-social behaviour.

"A few weeks ago there were six cars damaged in one afternoon, which was shocking.

"There have been a few hotspots up towards Brynteg and Southsea, around Solway Banks. "There has also been anti-social behaviour at the Brymbo Lodge Football club - a group of youths seems hell-bent on causing disruption.

"Then they're playing, they go and take their belongings, running off with them, or pull the flags out.

"There have been stones thrown at cars, which I have personally been a victim of myself.

"Two weeks ago I was driving along with my family in the car in Brynteg and there was a group of about 10 youths in front of me. "The next thing, one of them threw a large stone which hit my car - it shook me and my family up.

"I reported it to the police and they have been very proactive. "We have a new PCSO in the area now, so we have three, which I am pleased about. "I had a meeting with Insp Gilmore to talk about what's happening going forward and they are working closely with the youth offending team and housing and they're looking to prosecute.

"If the individuals are living in local authority properties, they risk losing their housing as well, which families have been warned about previously.

"Nobody wants that to happen but we can't have a small group of individuals terrorising an area.

"The police won't allow that to happen and I won't."

Cllr Williams said officers were out across his ward with the drone team over the weekend in a bid to identify the responsible youths.

He added: "All of these children have parents, and they need to take responsibility.

"11 to 15 is a difficult age, but there are agencies which can help."

Ponciau Councillor Paul Pemberton said the issues in his ward have been largely centred around Ponciau Skate Park and play park.

Speaking of the approach of North Wales Police, he said: "I think it's a good way forward - it's always good to have partnership working.

"We have had a tough time in Ponciau with the anti-social behaviour.

"We had one week where we had a fire engine out three nights on the trot.

"The park is a gem of a place and we have to look after it.

"There are always smashed bottles in there and where it used to be cleaned two days a week, it's needing to be done five days a week now."

On his message to parents, he added: "Please take charge of your children and try to get them to look after the park - it's their future and it's a fantastic facility."

Cefn Councillor Derek Wright said: "We know there's a problem.

"At our community council meeting last month there were complaints about young teenagers aged 12, 13 and 14 riding about on electric scooters causing havoc in the village.

"With the stone throwing, it could cause accidents. We need to make them realise what damage they could do.

"Between us councillors and the police we will do what we can to eradicate it and lessen it as much as possible - I'd rather it was nipped in the bud.

"I'd suggest the parents take note of what the police are saying, if not for their own good and that of their children then for the community."

Insp Gilmore told the Leader previously: "I'd urge parents to speak to us and ask for help if they are concerned about the behaviour of their children.

"We take a problem solving approach and use all of the resources we have available, working with partners and agencies - because police might not always be the best resource for the problem.

"This is not just policing. It's a county-wide and inter-agency approach."