A campaign to reduce anti social behaviour amongst young people, safeguard them from harm and crackdown on crime in recognised “hot spots” throughout Rhondda Cynon Taf is being hailed a success.
Since the start of the year three teams have worked every Friday night to target areas across the County Borough and engage with vast numbers of young people, victims, shop owners, businesses and local councilors.
The operation is a multi-agency campaign to provide a highly visible, effective and proactive approach to combat prolific anti social behaviour issues.
The operation is being funded through the Welsh Government’s Youth Crime Prevention agenda for the Cwm Taf region. Working together on these projects is Anti Social Behaviour Teams, South Wales Police and the Youth Offending Services as well as other agencies across the region to ensure a consistent response to local needs.
These specialist officers and professionals form into highly visible mobile engagement teams of around 10 people that have the ability to patrol a target area, and where necessary engage, educate, and deter young people from anti social behaviour.
The teams also aim to reduce issues such as noise nuisance, underage drinking and criminal damage while also providing community reassurance by targeting known areas including high streets, parklands, sports fields and town centres.
The success of the operation lies in its flexible approach to visiting all areas where issues are identified, as well as its approach to looking after young people in vulnerable situations by providing advice and personal safety tips.
The Youth Offending Service and Safer Merthyr Tydfil have worked together to ensure that Youth Crime Prevention services are consistent across the region.
This means that any young person identified as at risk or vulnerable, from a Friday Night event, will be offered the opportunity to engage with support for themselves and their family, within the week.
This also acts as a further safeguarding measure to ensure young people can get to the right service at the right time.
The operation also supports victims of anti-social behaviour with information available to those who are vulnerable and repeat victims in different communities.
Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Community Safety, Cllr Paul Cannon explained: “This latest operation is about improving the quality of life for people in the County Borough and deterring anti social behaviour in our public places.
“The safety of any person found consuming alcohol whilst underage will remain paramount, and if required they will be brought back to a place of safety.
“The operational teams that deploy will also be monitoring known priority and prolific offenders and where required will conduct on the spot actions to deal with any that they come across.
”Our victim support officer will also be working very hard to reassure victims, residents and businesses alike, about what actions are being conducted in relation to any individual being dealt with as a consequence of their conduct or behaviour.”
If you suffer from anti-social behaviour and then you can report this by contacting South Wales Police directly on 101.