THE MP for Delyn has expressed his 'disappointment' as the Safer Streets funding 'by-passes' Flint and Holywell - despite concerns over anti-social behaviour (ASB) in those areas.

The funding - aimed at helping tackle crime - is part of a North Wales wide bid for £1.5m to the Home Office by the Police and Crime Commissioner, Andy Dunbobbin.

Wrexham initatives secured £500,000 of the funding, while in Flintshire, the successful bid targets the Shotton and Queensferry areas and amounts to £385,125.

But, Rob Roberts MP has criticised the fact that both Flint and Holywell - which have been subjected to ASB in recent times - have been overlooked.

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Mr Roberts said: "I am constantly made aware of anti-social behaviour in both Flint and Holywell, so I was delighted to see recently that North Wales Police’s Andy Dunbobbin - North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner was successful in bidding for the UK Government’s “Safer Streets” Fund to the tune of more than £1.5m, handed out by the Home Office.

"I was disappointed though to hear that none of this money is coming to Delyn, with some being spent in Anglesey, some in Wrexham and some in the Commissioner’s Deeside home.

"I have written to him to find out why none of the funding is coming our way, and in the absence of this additional funding what plans he has in place to combat anti-social behaviour in our towns and communities."

In the letter to the commissioner, Mr Roberts expressed his 'disappointment' that the funding had 'by-passed' Delyn.

The Leader:

PIC: Holywell missed out on a slice of the Safer Streets funding.

He added: "Any conversations I have had with the officer from the Flintshire North team have confirmed that anti-social behaviour is a major problem in the towns (of Flint and Holywell). So I was surprised therefore to see that none of the Safer Streets funding was being made available to Flintshire North to tackle issues west of Deeside.

"In the absence of any of the new funding being allocated to Flint or Holywell, please can you confirm what proposals there are to tackle the anti-social behaviour in the towns, as well as in the wider community."

In reply, commissioner Dunbobbin sent Mr Roberts a letter back. In it, he says that he 'recognises the importance of spreading funding across the region'.

Mr Dunbobbin wrote: "The Home Office sets strict criteria regarding which areas should be put forward for funding. As such we were asked to describe the area targeted, why we had identified it, and the problems to be targeted through our plan.

"The types of incidents highlighted by the Home Office were neighbourhood crime, anti-social behaviour (ASB), violence against women and girls (VAWG) in public places, or feelings of safety from VAWG or ASB.

"A Vulnerable Localities Index (VLI) using 6 sociodemographic factors from partner data was used to identify areas of highest concern in North Wales. Crime rates per 1,000 residents are three times and over two times higher in Queensferry and Shotton Higher 2 respectively, compared to the North Wales average. Both have high levels of income deprivation and Shotton Higher 2 has over double the level of social housing.

"Queensferry has the second highest vehicle crime rates per 1,000 residents across North Wales. The Shotton Higher 2 area has been identified as persistently and disproportionately contributing to burglary crime rates. Both LSOAs meet one or more of the Safer Streets 4 benchmarks.

"However, the issues identified in Deeside do not mean that I don’t recognise the importance of tackling crime in Flint and Holywell. I am sure you appreciate that they are both towns that I know well and are important to me, both from my previous role as a councillor on Flintshire County Council, but also personally through many longstanding family connections.

The Leader: Andy Dunbobbin is Labour\\\'s candidate to be North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner
Pic: Andy Dunbobbin (clear for use by all partners)

PIC: Andy Dunbobbin.

"Only a matter of weeks ago, I visited Ysgol Treffynnon in Holywell to learn more about how money seized from criminals is helping fund the Success for Life project. This initiative uses martial arts to teach important life skills to children in schools, and the visit enabled me to meet the team involved, to see how the funding has been invested and how the project engages with young people in the Holywell area.

"The project received £2,500 from my Your Community, Your Choice fund to help pay for course materials and an instructor and engaging with young people with the aim of tacking ASB is at the heart of projects like this. Moreover, earlier this year I did a walk around in Holywell to learn more about the situation in the town with local councillors and to see how we might better tackle incidents of poor behaviour there.

"Not only that, but elsewhere in Delyn in January, I visited Parkfields Community Centre in Mold following a spate of unacceptable anti-social behaviour at the facility. I met the centre’s management committee members, local PCSOs, and local councillors to discuss a way forward in combatting this behaviour. I also met with Bagillt Community Council in March alongside North Wales Police colleagues to discuss policing matters in that community.

"Independently of your letter I recently requested, and received, reports from the local police regarding anti-social behaviour issues in Flint in areas around Henry Taylor Street and New Roskell Square. The information I received reassured me that issues around ASB are very much on the radar of both the neighbourhood policing team and district Inspector in Flint.

"I must underline that all areas of North Wales are important to me as Police and Crime Commissioner and the inference in social media posts that I have seen that I favour certain areas over others due to me living nearby is completely incorrect and something that I refute most strongly.

"Looking forward to future rounds of Safer Streets Funding, I commit to working again with local authorities such as Flintshire (who were supportive of the bid and its focus this time round), local third sector groups, and others, to make sure as many towns and areas are recognised as possible."