Police crack down on young troublemakers tormenting theatregoers
Richard Evans, local democracy reporter
Police have cracked down on children and young teenagers in Colwyn Bay tormenting theatregoers.
The troublemakers were running in and out of Theatr Colwyn on Abergele Road and knocking over furniture and even hats off customers’ heads.
Fearing the impact on customers, the theatre sent an official letter to North Wales Police Chief Constable Carl Foulkes in November requesting increased patrols.
Colwyn Bay councillor Chris Hughes sits on Theatr Colwyn’s management committee and explained.
“There were gangs of kids, preteens, hanging around outside the theatre and in the alley,” he said.
“The kids were running in, knocking things over, knocking hats off people’s heads and running out again. In general, anti-social behaviour in Colwyn Bay has been a problem for a while.”
Consequently, additional CCTV in the area was installed, police patrols stepped up, and the alley beside the theatre sealed with a gate. Cllr Hughes says the situation has now improved.
The matter was raised at a recent Conwy County Council theatre committee meeting where Theatr Colwyn’s management committee said it feared the impact the anti-social behaviour was having on customers.
But North Wales Police says it has caught the culprits and the Youth Justice Service has intervened.
Inspector Steve Pawson said: ‘We have had increased patrols in Colwyn Bay. Officers, PCSOs and colleagues from the Special Constabulary were assigned to a specific operation targeting anti-social behaviour.
“As a result of the operation, we have gained both important intelligence and understanding of the problem. There is a minority of youths causing anti-social behaviour. As a direct consequence of the incident at the theatre, two youths have been issued Yellow Cards. Both individuals are engaged with our Youth Offending Team.
“There is some excellent work being undertaken by the local Neighbourhood Policing Team and the anti-social behaviour in Colwyn Bay is a key priority.
“The demand generated by these youths is under constant review. We will be utilising a problem-solving approach in partnership with other agencies to reduce this type of behaviour.”
He added: “From the Safe Streets Initiative we are also looking at our known anti-social behaviour location hotspots and are working with partners throughout the community in order to reduce the amount of anti-social behaviour experienced.
“Prevention of anti-social behaviour is our long-term goal, and there are already some diversionary initiatives in place. Please be reassured that the issue of anti-social behaviour within Colwyn Bay is a priority for my teams, and I know all the team are well engaged with the local community.”
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I found myself wondering “Have they nothing better to do”, when it struck me, no, probably not.
What’s a yellow card in this context? A cursory google search didn’t turn up anything.
Not an expert but they don’t dish out ASBO’s very often and engagement with agencies starts at Yellow and Red Cards, progresses through Acceptable Behaviour Warning then written Contract to ASBO warning before finally an ASBO.
i saw some surprising figures for one year in Manchester where, of 1207 in this system only 2 ended up with full ASBO’s. Engagement and education rather than going straight to punishment, I think.
Sadly, antisocial behaviour is becoming very common in Colwyn Bay.
What exactly is the purpose of the Yellow Card? Ten minutes in the sin-bin?.. Another 2 and you’re banned from standing outside at the next Theatr Colwyn production?
Hope this truly is the end of it as it is such a lovely place to go (for me, far superior to Venue Cymru), would hate for anyone to be put off by this daft behaviour.