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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 July, 2004, 12:13 GMT 13:13 UK
Estate to give views on policing
Houses in Caia Park
Caia Park houses between 12 and 14,000 people
Residents are to be asked for views on whether a community police initiative on a Wrexham housing estate is working.

Six community beat officers are based in Caia Park, one of Wales' most deprived wards.

Nearly a year after they were put in place crime has fallen by 16%.

Now, residents will get the chance to have their say on aspects of community safety, including policing as part of a survey by Caia Park Communities First.

The Welsh Assembly Government-funded regeneration programme will conduct 600 doorstep interviews after a survey two years ago discovered residents were concerned about their safety.

Improvements

"I think things have improved," said Gary Jones from Communities First but he said residents still want more "high visibility policing".

"We need to find out from the people of Caia Park whether things have improved," he added.

In June 2003, the Caia Park estate was the focus of disturbances between some people from the estate and Iraqi Kurd refugees.

The violent outbreak followed friction between a number of Iraqis and longer-term residents of Caia Park.

However, since then extra measures have been put in place to help residents including the beat managers, neighbourhood wardens and an alleygating scheme which sees footpaths behind people's homes closed.

"I see the neighbourhood wardens as a positive step and that has been something that people living here have been saying," said Mr Jones.

Sergeant Darren Jacks
Sgt Darren Jacks leads a team of community beat police in Caia Park

Through the community surveys, workers at Communities First have been able to pinpoint residents concerns and try to rectify them.

Last year, one of the concerns raised was that of discrimination.

Mr Jones said a "few" people felt they were discriminated against when they went for job interviews because of their postcodes.

Mr Jones said the allegation is difficult to prove.

However, in a move to try and get more people back to work they have arranged for extra buses to run throughout the estate.

"The people who don't use cars just use taxis all the time and for some people it's costing them a lot," said Caroline Bradshaw from the organisation.

"People have been telling us that [buses] would help them get into jobs," she added.




SEE ALSO:
Wales records fall in crime
22 Jul 04  |  Wales
Police and tots plan the future
01 Apr 04  |  North East Wales
Crime down on riot hit estate
24 Mar 04  |  North East Wales
Caia Park officers welcomed
14 Aug 03  |  North East Wales


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