Anti-social behaviour including drug use and vandalism have led to a council stepping in to take action in two troublesome areas of a Welsh town.
Carmarthenshire Council has confirmed that two ‘community wardens’ have been appointed in Llanelli whose roles will be to patrol the areas of Tyisha and Glanymor to the south of the town centre. They will work with local police and the council in an attempt to tackle anti-social behaviour, including patrolling what the council described as “hot spot areas” in an effort to deter crime.
Vandalism and fly-tipping have long been causes of concern there, as well as issues relating to communal areas, open spaces and parks.
The announcement comes on the back of incidents of “inexcusable” disorder in nearby Burry Port, one of which saw around 100 youths abuse police at the local train station before a large fight broke out which resulted in two officers being injured. A dispersal order was put in place last weekend as a result which covered large parts of Llanelli, including Tyisha and Glanymor, both of which have previously been identified as having drug-related issues.
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Locals in Burry Port spoke out earlier this week about their frustrations at having to live in an area beset by anti-social problems, with one shopkeeper describing how he could still see blood on the floor days after a gang of teenagers attacked another youngster in the town.
While Tyisha and Glanymor have not seen disorder on that scale in recent weeks, a member of a local action group has revealed there are still numerous problems to tackle, some of which were highlighted in a special report last year.
“The biggest issue we’ve had is the misuse of drugs and drug dealing,” said Vanessa Marsh, chairperson of the local Safer Communities Action Group, which is run by volunteers and aims to reduce crime in Tyisha and Glanymor.
“The new wardens will be a huge benefit to the area because they work in partnership with the police and the council. I think members of the public will be keen to speak to them and any initiative like this where the council and the police offer more support is a huge boost to residents.”
She said a local beach had been targeted (by those causing anti-social behaviour) and some of the parks had suffered as well.
“I don’t know what it is. I think maybe word spreads on social media about gatherings and all the restrictions have meant that youngsters have been limited in terms of what they can do; perhaps this sense of freedom has gone to their heads. But it’s sad that we see so many youngsters with nothing to do and nowhere to go. Maybe it’s a cry for help from them because it looks to me like a forgotten generation. But I back these new wardens 110%. They’re going to provide a big confidence boost to the area.”
As well as patrolling hot spots, the new wardens will support the introduction of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, organise the installation of crime prevention measures, offer support to vulnerable members of the community, and encourage community engagement with youth projects, schools and clubs. Their appointments form part of Carmarthenshire Council’s ‘Transforming Tyisha’ project, something which was announced in 2019 and aims to regenerate the area through a range of proposals including new housing and community facilities.
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Linda Evans, chair of the Tyisha steering group and executive board member for housing at Carmarthenshire Council, said: “I am delighted that Tyisha and Glanymor now have community wardens who will work closely with Dyfed-Powys Police and other agencies to deliver a multi-agency approach to tackling issues of community concern.
“In response to community feedback they will prioritise tackling anti-social behaviour issues, reducing crime relating to drug and alcohol misuse and engaging with the community to make positive changes throughout Tyisha and Glanymor.”
Ann Davies, vice-chair of the Tyisha steering group and executive board member at the council, said: “The work carried out by the community wardens will make a positive difference through helping to reduce fear of crime and incidents of anti-social behaviour as well as improving quality of life for those who live in these communities.”
Anyone can contact the new community wardens by e-mailing email@example.com to raise any concerns or to express an interest in joining the neighbourhood watch scheme.