TROUBLE with gangs of youths has led to a second police town centre crackdown this year.
In February, a 48-hour dispersal order was issued covering the area from Wynn Gardens, Old Colwyn, to King’s Road, Colwyn Bay giving police and community support officers the power to force troublemakers to leave the area.
On Saturday night another order covering the town centre was granted following reports of anti-social behaviour.
A total of 19 dispersal notices were issued, five stop searches were completed and six people arrested. One adult was charged with the offences of racially aggravated public order, public order and assaulting an officer.
Two young people were charged with theft and breach of the dispersal order, one was charged with public order offences and two youths have been released under investigation.
A manager of a shop in Colwyn Bay, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “We’ve had gangs hanging round and the issue of exclusion notices (withdraws the invitation to enter a member premises to the person issued with the exclusion notice) did improve things but now they’re coming back.
“The gangs turn up through the day and on weekends and range from eight years of age to teenage years. When you tell them to leave they get really abusive.”
The retailer warned that despite CCTV and radio links to other shops in the town after dark Colwyn Bay took on a different atmosphere.
“We do have the backup of Hawkeye (a surveillance system) but when you are trying to employ people to work until 11pm it is difficult because word gets around. Colwyn Bay isn’t the best at night.”
Ingrid Lewis, town centre manager, said the police meet regularly with Shopwatch a 300 business network who exclude repeat offenders from their businesses for a period of a year.
She said: “Shopwatch meet with the police quarterly. Gangs have been highlighted and the police have liaised with us to discuss what we can to disperse them and ensure problem gangs are removed from the area.”
West Conwy Coastal District Inspector Kelly Isaacs reassured Colwyn Bay residents that preventive measures are being carried out to try and stop “further incidents of this nature”.
Inspector Kelly Isaacs said: “The dispersal order was granted at 5pm on Saturday and remained in place until 4am on Monday following complaints from the public about antisocial behaviour and low level crime in the town.
“We want to reassure the people of Colwyn Bay we are taking action and that further proactive operations will be carried out in the area to prevent incidents of this nature.”