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Monday, 11 March, 2002, 13:17 GMT
MP welcomes crime-busting scheme
Rhyl town
Rhyl is one of the most deprived areas of Wales
Community and business leaders in Rhyl have given a cautious welcome to Home Office plans to target crime hotspots in the town.

The north Wales seaside resort is one of five areas in the UK targeted as a policing priority area, which will be the focus of plans to deal with petty crime and anti-social behaviour.

North Wales Police will work closely with a Home Office taskforce to devise local strategies.
Chris Ruane MP
Chris Ruane MP: 'Welcome move'

Chris Ruane, MP for Vale of Clwyd, is now hoping to hold talks with Home Secretary David Blunkett about details of the scheme.

"This is a dual edged sword and I am glad that this part of Rhyl, which has specific problems, has been targeted," said Mr Ruane.

"Rhyl West is the poorest ward in Wales and suffers from social deprivation.

"Some of the problems we have are like those of inner city areas of Liverpool and Manchester.

"There are 900 houses in multiple occupancy in the ward, for instance, filled with a largely transient population, bringing their own social problems.

I would hope this scheme will tackle issues such as drug misuse and car theft

Dafydd Timothy, shopkeeper
"Crime has many sources and hopefully, this initiative will offer pointers towards dealing with that."

Rhyl has been the focus of previous and ongoing crime-busting initiatives, including the Town Safe and Club Safe projects and the recent ban on drinking alcohol in public places.

A spokesman for Rhyl Town Council said the authority was awaiting to hear from the Home Office about the plans.

Public attention

"We are awaiting the details in black and white. But in principle, we would welcome the initiative," said the spokesman.

Dafydd Timothy, who runs Siop y Morfa bookshop, said the wrong message about the town had gone out to the wrong people.

"I would hope this scheme will tackle issues such as drug misuse and car theft.

"This does bring Rhyl to the forefront of public attention for the wrong reasons, which it does not need. But this town at times can be like Toxteth or Mosside."

Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom
"We're always very keen to be at the forefront of these sort of developments"

More news from north east Wales
See also:

11 Mar 02 | Wales
Town named as policing priority
14 Aug 01 | UK
Seaside stories: Rhyl
23 Aug 00 | Wales
Resort tops poverty league
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