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Friday, 15 February, 2002, 10:33 GMT
Street patrols in crime crackdown
Rhyl town centre
Wardens will patrol the streets of Denbighshire
A crime initiative to clean up the streets of Rhyl and Denbigh has been launched.

It is part of a UK-wide project where civilian wardens will work in towns, offering help and advice to residents.

North Wales Police graphic
North Wales Police has backed the scheme

The north Wales pilot scheme follows a similar project in Merthyr Tydfil, south Wales, which saw house burglaries cut by more than 50%.

Local groups have launched the Denbighshire version, which will last six months and cost around 10,000.

Those involved include Stars - a community safety organisation - Denbighshire County Council and North Wales Police.

Gillian Angel from Stars said the five wardens will be easy to spot.

"They are in uniform - it is quite a friendly uniform - and they will be working on the local streets.


They're a high visibility deterrent and are there to help anyone and refer them to the correct authority

Gillian Angel, Stars community group

"They are similar to bobbies on the beat but they're not a replacement to the police force."

Elsewhere, the concept has not been welcomed by everyone.

In the past, the Police Federation has raised concerns that neighbourhood wardens could become a rival force - although the government has stressed they are not a substitute for the police.

Quality of life

The Rhyl and Denbigh scheme has received 21,000 from Communities Against Drugs and the New Deal.

Wardens will eventually be in most major towns in Denbighshire.

They will have various roles depending on the needs of the community they are working with.

But their main aim is to improve the quality of life in residential areas.

They will be the eyes and ears of the community, reporting environmental or maintenance problems to the relevant authority.

They will visit vulnerable residents to offer help and support whilst taking on specific community projects to reduce crime.

Local community

The original idea came from the Netherlands where jobless youngsters are employed as wardens to improve the quality of community life.

Ms Angel said the wardens have received intensive training: "They know what to do if they see syringes on the floor, how to administer first aid and health and safety."

Ms Angel believes residents want wardens on the street.

"From about 200 questionnaires, 99% thought it was an excellent scheme and would help the elderly and young people."

The three men and two women will take to the streets on Monday.

See also:

01 Feb 02 | Wales
05 Dec 01 | Wales
23 Aug 00 | Wales
01 Aug 01 | UK Politics
13 Mar 00 | Wales
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