By Sarah Atherton

MP for Wrexham

Over the summer, you may have read or seen on my social media that I went out on several ‘walkabouts’ with the local Police team, which followed discussions with constituents about rising anti-social behaviour and crime in our town centre. I know that issues relating to crime and anti-social behaviour have long been at the forefront of many people’s minds in Wrexham, but with increasing UK and Welsh Government support throughout the pandemic many felt that these issues were being solved.

However, as we have reopened from lockdowns and restrictions and the town has reopened, some of these issues have remerged. This has, understandably, concerned some residents, business owners and traders. My mailbox is full of concerns from residents and businesses about anti-social behaviour and crime in the town centre, with examples and photos in some cases and in the last two months alone I have had thirty separate cases raised with me, ranging from public urination – such as at Central Arcade or on the entrances of business premises – and speeding cars in the town centre, to littering and abusive or intimidating behaviour.

At this point, it is important to make clear that the town Police, and the Council, are taking steps to help the situation. From my conversations with the Police, I know that the town Police team, through their knife amnesty or their community engagement, are working with residents and businesses to address issues and make sure people feel safe on our streets. The Council are also working with businesses and residents to make sure that they all love Wrexham and its town centre and their recently announced ‘Wrexham Placemaking’ project and consultation is an example of this ambition in action.

However, I still want to make sure that residents feel safe to shop and socialise in Wrexham, enjoying our day and night-time businesses, without fear of harassment on the street, or becoming a victim of crime. This is why, I took the bold decision to invite stakeholders from across the town to a multi- agency roundtable discussion on crime and anti-social behaviour in Wrexham.

I am grateful to the Leader of the Council, Cllr Mark Pritchard, and Inspector Luke Hughes for confirming they will attend, showing their willingness to work collaboratively and pragmatically on this issue. However, I am disappointed that Wrexham’s Senedd Member, Lesley Griffiths, has said that she won’t be attending, explaining that she has “seen little evidence to suggest anti-social behaviour is on the rise in Wrexham town centre, with no constituents raising such concerns with me in recent months.” Unfortunately, whilst residents may not have raised their concerns with Ms Griffiths, I have seen and heard first-hand about the issues our constituents are facing. As such, I feel it is important that this meeting takes place to praise the good work of our town centre agencies, finding out where we are doing things well, whilst also looking at what can be done better.

As always if you are resident in Wrexham and need my assistance with any local or national issue, please make contact with me by emailing