Statement from Councillor Des Davies, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Public Protection:
“I am aware of incidents of anti-social behaviour which took place in Neath Town Centre on Tuesday.
“The first thing to say is thank you to all of the people who picked up the phone and reported the incidents, and to our colleagues in the Police who responded to these.
“I am as frustrated as anyone that the behaviour of the minority is giving the wrong impression about Neath and it is important that we put this issue into context. Neath is a busy, vibrant, economically active town with a lot to offer visitors, residents and businesses and we all need to work together to give the loud and clear message that anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.
“As part of our Neath Together campaign, a number of partners have been working to clamp down on anti-social behaviour. These include the Council, the Police, Neath Inspired BID, homelessness charities Caer Las and the Wallich, the Salvation Army, traders, business organisations, WCADA (Welsh Centre for Action on Dependency and Addiction), the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust and the Business Crime Reduction Unit.
“Anti-social behaviour is unfortunately a feature of modern life within towns and cities up and down the country and Neath is no different. Many of the people who cause concern are very vulnerable and the priority is to help and protect these individuals, however, where people persistently refuse help and continue to display unacceptable behaviour, firm enforcement action has and will be been taken.
“Progress has been made. Over the past few months the Police have increased their patrols in the area, homelessness and substance misuse agencies have been working to ensure that there is appropriate support for vulnerable people, and we will shortly be announcing details of a diverted giving scheme to enable people to donate money to tackle issues like homelessness, rather than giving directly to people who seem to be begging.
“Having said all of this, we know that there is more to be done. The Police and other partners are doing an excellent job, but we need the support of members of the public and traders to enable us to continue to bear down on this issue. I hope that people will continue to help us tackle this issue by reporting any incidents of anti-social behaviour that they witness by ringing 101, or 999 for emergencies. Together we will make a real difference.” More stories