[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 9 February 2006, 17:53 GMT
Builders' offer after youth abuse
Lovell building site in Crumlin Drive
The site was abandoned by workers following the attacks
Contractors forced to abandon a building site after being stoned by gangs on a Cardiff estate are to offer local youths lessons in construction.

Workers were forced to stop work in the St Mellons area after the site manager was hit on the head by a stone and teenagers began stoning the office.

Contractors Lovell ordered staff to abandon the site a week ago and they are due to return on Monday.

The firm now plans to make links with the youths by offering work experience.

Nick Kurobasa, Lovell's regional director told the BBC news website how staff at the site in the Crumlin Drive area had suffered low level intimidation over recent weeks which escalated.

Providing things improve we are looking at the option of offering building experience for some of the youngsters
Nick Kurobasa, Lovell

He said that staff working on the 4m regeneration scheme of the area, had suffered theft and damage to their vehicles and that threats were made to them by gangs of teenagers.

But following an incident in which the site manager was hit on the head by a stone and the staff office became a target for stone throwers, he said that the workers were ordered to down tools until the situation calmed down.

"Enough was enough - we had to ensure the safety of our staff," he said.

"The site manager was wearing a padded jacket so wasn't badly hurt but it could have been much, much worse.

"We are going back to work on Monday to see how things are and providing things improve we are looking at the option of offering building experience for some of the youngsters."

Mr Kurobasa believes many of the youths causing the problems were doing so out of boredom.

Lovell site office in St Mellons
The site office became the target for stone throwing youths

"The idea is to bring people together and to find ways to give some proper motivation for some of the youngsters there," he said.

"At any one time we have a dozen or so apprentices working for us and very often they come from the area they are working in.

"There is a number of kids up there who need help to get motivated and to get basic skills and there are some who can be helped.

"We want to show them a route into work so they are able to have more motivation and focus."

South Wales Police are increasing patrols around the site in an effort to stop attacks on building staff.

Officers are also visiting the homes of some of the youths who are known to have been causing trouble around the building site.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific