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‘Irresponsible and damaging’: Welsh MP challenges BBC over damning report on Rhyl

08 Aug 2021 2 minutes Read
Market Day in Rhyl. Picture by Joe Blundell (CC BY-SA 3.0) Inset: James Davies MP

Vale of Clwyd MP James Davies has complained to the BBC about its negative portrayal of the town in recent reports.

It follows the BBC having branded Rhyl as ‘the most violent neighbourhood in Wales’ in news reports on the theme of ‘levelling up’.

The BBC’s coverage includes interviews and statistics that focus on organised crime, drugs, food banks, alcohol abuse and domestic violence and are accompanied by images of graffiti and derelict buildings.

Dr James Davies said: “Rhyl certainly has its challenges, but this type of reporting is irresponsible and damaging and the last thing the town needs as it recovers from the pandemic.”

He said that many local residents and businesses did not recognise the town being portrayed in the BBC coverage and feared it would put off visitors and investors.

He argues that many of the problems that were highlighted relate to specific areas of the town centre and should not be applied to the town as a whole.

Misleading

In a letter to the BBC he states: “The issue highlighted is predominantly relating to the town centre. I think the statement that “Rhyl is the most violent neighbourhood in Wales” was perhaps the element that most aggrieved people, as it suggests that the whole town is of this nature.

“That kind of negative publicity is not backed up by the data and is counter-productive to regeneration efforts.”

The Conservative MP has urged the BBC to follow up the coverage with something that shows some of the positive work being done to regenerate the town.

The BBC article ‘Levelling up: The seaside town fighting violence and frustration’ states:  “The north Wales seaside town of Rhyl is one of the most violent and deprived areas in England and Wales. The number of serious offences went up every year for four years until the first coronavirus lockdown, BBC research has found.

“One of Boris Johnson’s key policies when he was elected prime minister was to end the deep-rooted inequalities between richer and poorer parts of the country, starting with crime – and nowhere is that challenge clearer than in Rhyl.”

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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

BBC hack lashes out…always take a bag of salt and a ball of string with you when you venture into the moral maze of BBC world…and a peg for the nose!

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

Tory MP wants something “positive” from the BBC. Johnson’s propaganda ministry falling down on the job, or telling the truth for once?

CJPh
CJPh
1 month ago

What exactly are the data regarding the instances of violent crimes in Rhyl (and indeed North Wales)? Being a Jack, I know that most of the violent crimes reported in Swansea a few years back were committed on Wind Street, on Friday and Saturday nights and directly resulting from excess alcohol consumption, by young people who live in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot or Carmarthenshire. Most violent drug crimes in South Wales (at least the headline grabbers), however, are committed by or can be traced to county lines gangs from London, Manchester, Liverpool or Birmingham. One wonders how often the largely… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by CJPh
Vaughan
Vaughan
1 month ago
Reply to  CJPh

Or younger people from even further afield because Wind St. can be a nightlife magnet for people all over South Wales.

Newport was once considered to be the most violent town in England and Wales. It shed that unflattering label by becoming a city.

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  Vaughan

So that’s why Wrecsam council wants city status?

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  CJPh

Settling offenders from England in Rhyl, feared by locals for years.
Could do with an East European leader for Wales?

Last edited 1 month ago by j humphrys
CJPh
CJPh
1 month ago
Reply to  j humphrys

Nah, there comes a degree of authoritarianism with the contemporary Eastern European populism, a form of governance that doesn’t sit easily with me. There’s no guarantee that what my start as communitarian protectionism doesn’t quickly morph into a form of rule utilitarianism that seeks to rid Cymru of anything that doesn’t serve her interests – the minority language, small rural schools, niche and underesearched history. Hey, we may as well stick with England, they’re strong! See where this goes? Is there a better approach to be had regarding migration to Wales (and from, to be honest)? Certainly. But there’s a… Read more »

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  j humphrys

Ah, reporting the facts about the systematic shipping into Rhyl, and other north coast communities, of delinquents and dysfunctional family units from the larger conurbations of N.W England and beyond would probably bring James bach out in a rash. That would be an implied criticism of English policy that uses parts of Wales as a social dustbin transferring costly “rejects” into Mr Drakeford’s budgetary realm. So Wales subsidises England, not the other way around as Tories would have you believe. We don’t need an East European leader just a person with a serious commitment to his own nation and country.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

You are absolutely correct. Some North Wales coastal towns and villages are becoming what you have described. Others (like Llandrillo-yn Rhos, Llandudno, Deganwy, Prestatyn) are being turned into retirement areas for rich English people. Welsh culture has been almost wiped out along parts of the north coast. Very sad.

Welsh_Sion
Welsh_Sion
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

 Llandrillo-yn Rhos, Llandudno, Deganwy, Prestatyn) are being turned into retirement areas for rich English people. 

__________

What my late Father called, “Costa Geriatrica”. (He used to be a gardener for some of these new arrivals and I spent my formative months in Llandrillo yn Rhos, being baptised for the first time in the smallest church in Cymru).

Last edited 1 month ago by Welsh_Sion
CJPh
CJPh
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

This issue is an odd place to be for those of us on the left (or liberals like me who are more ‘Left’ than not) and believe that Wales should be free – We tend to be very supportive of social safety nets (monetary, housing, health, services), but see the large-scale movement of people from English cities to, often, rural and coastal Wales to get re-situated as quite a big problem. Even the most ardent socialist would bristle at the idea of plonking thousands of poor Appalachian Trump-supporters into social housing in Aberaeron, I’m sure. That’s kind of how I… Read more »

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
1 month ago
Reply to  CJPh

It’s largely a mixture of county lines from the English conurbations, and people transferred to Rhyl from Engliish inner cities by their local councils, but doubtless Rhyl also has a home-grown anti-social element too.

CJPh
CJPh
1 month ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

Yeah, I’m sure it is. I had a chat with a guy from Llanelli recently – he told me it wasn’t so much the numbers ticking upwards that worried him, rather the nature of the crimes committed by the county lines gangs in his town. The overall number of violent offences may not see a huge jump, but there is a substantive difference between violent organised criminal gangs and a drunk guy throwing a few punches. When he mentioned that he was worried about a community backlash, citing the way the Irish, Italians and Jews were treated in New York… Read more »

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

Rather than complaining about the BBC get your boss to finally deliver his promises – Rhyl needs money not complaints !

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
1 month ago

As someone from the north coast I can tell you that, sadly, much of what the BBC reported was true. Rhyl (and other seaside resorts on the north coast, Pensarn, Colwyn Bay etc.) were victims of the ‘come and claim by the sea’ culture in the 90s and this has led to higher crimes, drugs and very nasty atmospheres in parts (and I stress parts – not all) of the town. It is very sad to see what this once lovely town has become. My dad grew up in Rhyl and he always talks about how lovely it was in… Read more »

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

You can keep it as it is, or take the glove off. Liberals need not apply for the s**t job.

Baz
Baz
1 month ago

Rhyl is and has for some time been one of the most deprived areas in the UK. This is a fact. Its sadly very narrowminded and reactionairy to see it as an ‘attack’ on my home town. Try to more adult

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