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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 October, 2004, 05:52 GMT 06:52 UK
Cities leading 'anti-social' drive
Smashed window
Police and local authorities will work together under the plans
Three Welsh cities have been chosen as "action areas" in the latest crackdown on anti-social behaviour.

Cardiff, Newport and Swansea will be at the forefront of moves to tackle issues such as nuisance neighbours, beggars and graffiti.

Secretary of State for Wales, Peter Hain, is urging local communities to stamp out what he calls the "scourge" of anti-social behaviour.

But residents in one area already involved in the scheme said it had made no difference.

In total, 50 localities across the UK have been selected to take part in the government scheme known as "Together".

Local authorities and police in these areas will be devoting resources to the scheme which was launched a year ago.

During that time, more than 100 anti-social behaviour orders (Asbos) have been issued.

It aims to tackle nuisance neighbours, reduce environmental crime and "put victims and witnesses first".
David Blunkett may be saying in interviews that these Asbos are working and everything's going well, but I haven't seen any evidence of that whatsoever
Resident

The Wildmill estate in Bridgend is one area which has been running the scheme for a year.

Many of the windows in homes there are boarded-up and there is glass on the streets where windows or telephone boxes have been smashed.

Local shop worker Ali has been there for eight months and thinks things have got worse, not better.

"From time to time we get some trouble, people stealing from the shop and problems outside.

"People drink and they leave rubbish on the floor. There is no respect to the customer, no respect to the business," he said.

Across the road, a local chip shop owner agreed there were big problems on the estate.

"It really annoys me. The damage I have seen is the phone boxes, the windows being smashed.

"Kids are going to come and play. They are going to fall down get injured."

'No difference'

A local resident, who did not want to be named, added: "I don't think there is anything being done about the anti-social behaviour.

"The kids totally destroyed all my flat. They graffitied it. There hasn't been a difference, no difference at all."

Another said: "You can see it's a mess. There is glass everywhere.

"Kids from as young as four years to 16 or 17 are lighting fires.

"The Asbos are not working.

"David Blunkett may be saying in interviews that these Asbos are working and everything's going well, but I haven't seen any evidence of that whatsoever."

Mr Hain added: "One year into our campaign, local communities throughout Wales are making effective use of new powers to tackle yobbish behaviour which makes life so miserable, particularly for the elderly and vulnerable.

"It is important that we all work together to stamp out the scourge of anti-social behaviour.

"I urge all concerned - local authorities, police, other agencies, and members of the public - to make it clear that unacceptable behaviour simply will not be tolerated in their locality."


SEE ALSO:
New 'yob' targets to be unveiled
28 Oct 04  |  Politics
Asbos 'to criminalise youngsters'
19 Jul 04  |  Politics
Anti-social orders 'are ignored'
17 Mar 04  |  Scotland


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