Published On: Sun, Jul 7th, 2024
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Pontypool, South Wales: UK town ‘so overrun by yobs’ | UK | Travel


Residents in a South Wales town have revealed their living nightmares as they contend with a heavy influx of boisterous, unruly yobs taking over their community.

In Pontypool, residents have broken their silence despite pleas for discretion to avoid aggravating their deteriorating situation, describing a gruesome daily reality that has become unbearable.

Living predominantly in blocks of flats, they recounted unsettling tales of teenagers breaking into their homes, indulging in all-night drinking sprees by their main entrances, theft of dustbins, and sporadic fights disrupting the peace in the wee hours.

The irritation has escalated into terror as they mentioned witnessing bouts against police officers and intra-group conflicts involving “bottles, saucepans, and bars”. The audacious teens even get confrontational when approached by residents about their behaviour.

Subsequent repercussions are already being felt: while one dweller has relocated because of the incessant harassment, another persistently calls in repair services due to her entrance door constantly being vandalised.

Acting swiftly in response to the escalating situation, Gwent Police have implemented dispersal orders, issued more than 20 anti-social behaviour referrals targeting minors, and arrested suspects implicated in assault cases, obstruction of police operations, and racially aggravated public disorders.

Cyra Gould, 28, a resident living above a high street shop with her young son, has painted a grim picture of life in her town, describing it as “heartbreaking.”

After being forced to move due to a no-fault eviction, she now faces a daily battle with anti-social behaviour.

She told Wales Online: “I’m not exaggerating when I say I’m speaking to the police every single night of the week because of teenagers.

“They’re in town every night of the week drunk and taking drugs. Some of them are often in a really bad way. I don’t know them personally. They’re usually kicking in the shop shutters.

Cyra added that once the yobs have gained entry to her block, they spend the night in the hallway drinking and “screaming and shouting”.

She said: “It’s got to a point where sometimes me and my partner have gone out and shouted at them to get out and begged them saying: ‘Kids live here, please stop doing this.’ We’ve got a two-year-old who is now petrified to stand near the door inside our flat. He starts going: ‘Bang, bang, bang’ because he’s so used to the door coming through.”

Gwent Police implemented a dispersal order in the town centre, granting officers the authority to arrest individuals who fail to comply with instructions to leave the area and not return for up to 48 hours.

However, local resident Mark Jones, who lives above a high street shop, claimed the measure had little impact: “People are fearful to come out of their own homes at night here.

“Police are constantly out here trying to move them on but it keeps happening. I’ve seen 30 of them out here on the high street mostly youngsters abusing each other.

“It’s happening in front of kids in the middle of the afternoon sometimes. The swearing is bad enough never mind the fighting and criminal damage. I’m moving out in the next four weeks so I’m going to say what’s going on here.”

Gwent Police neighbourhood inspector for Torfaen, Lee Stachow, has spoken out on these pressing issues, saying: “We’re aware of reports of anti-social behaviour in Pontypool and in particular the town centre over the last few weeks.

“Anti-social behaviour, and any offences associated with it, is completely unacceptable and we understand the distress it causes our residents.

“We’re committed to doing what we can, together with our partners and members of the public to make Pontypool a place where people feel not only safe but can feel proud and enjoy their community.”

Inspector Stachow added: “We have recently issued dispersal orders which can be re-introduced if needed and have an increased police presence in the area.

“When it comes to anti-social behaviour we’re guided not only by information gathered through investigations and patrols but by information the public has provided through their reports.

“I encourage residents and businesses to keep reporting incidents of anti-social behaviour to us but, more than this, I urge those who call in or message to go beyond just reporting but to also provide statements, submit CCTV, to support us take action against those causing misery to our community.

“Our message is clear: such behaviour will not be tolerated and with your help, those found responsible will be dealt with appropriately.”



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