BUSINESS owners claim they have been driven out of a Welsh high street due to rising crime levels.
People in Swansea say they have been crushed by violence, gun crime, drugs and prostitution.
Athena Picture Agency Many shops on Swansea High Street have been left boarded up
Athena Picture Agency Locals say they have abandoned the area after rising crime and violence
They say the “criminals have won” as they shut up shop for good, adding it’s unsafe even to walk along the streets after 5pm.
Customers and staff have been scared away as the presence of drugs such as Spice have become common in the area.
Last year 1,164 incidents were recorded by South Wales Police, with 387 as crimes, with city centre sergeant saying the figures show “the high level of demand” placed upon the force.
A pub on the high street has closed for good, with the young landlord, Geraint Couch, admitting defeat.
He told the Daily Mail: “I’m giving up. I have tried really hard, but people don’t like to come up here as they are scared. Even my friends don’t visit. We just do not get protection up here.
“There is no CCTV. We have prostitutes regularly standing on the street, and there is violence.
“I saw a guy beating up his girlfriend, and when I tried to intervene he turned on me. The place is just abandoned. I’ve tried to make a real go of this place, but I’ve had enough.”
Shops have been left abandoned and boarded up as business owners feel forced to give up and leave.
Some of the incidences recorded on the high street by cops in 2018Violence against the person – 189
Nuisance – 133
Drugs – 32
Sexual offences – 21
Theft – 101
Concern for safety – 240
Burglary – 8
A female carer who works at charity Walsingham Support on the high street said: “You can’t walk along with your purse or your mobile phone in your hand, they would be gone. We don’t see the police or community support officers here.”
The city has also been reportedly targeted by drugs gangs from London who send youngsters there to sell for them.
The Sun Online has approached the Home Office for comment.
Last year a damning report claimed cops are struggling to stem the rise in violence.
MPs claimed policing is at risk of becoming “irrelevant” as neighbourhood cops are stripped back and vast numbers of crimes go unsolved.
Prime Minister Theresa May claimed earlier this month there is no direct link between falling numbers of officers on the street and a recent surge in deadly stabbings.
She blamed the rise in crime on gangs and drugs, as knife attacks reach the “highest and most worrying” level in forty years, according to the Met Police chief.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid has repeatedly called on both Downing Street and the Treasury to do more to help overstretched police.
And as Britain’s knife crime worsens he is reportedly planning a major reform to tackle the bloodshed on the streets.
RISE IN CRIME
Sergeant Andrew Hedley, of South Wales Police, said: “It is important to emphasise that crime is only a part of what our officers deal with and there are many other challenges we face, including mental health concerns, and vulnerable missing people, which our officers respond to and manage on a day to day basis.
“However, any level of crime has a detrimental impact on our communities and we are aware that some streets, including High Street, can be hotspots for crime. We are committed to tackling crime throughout the division and those hotspot areas require continued focus.
“In High Street and the city centre generally, our neighbourhood teams carry out regular high-visibility patrols in order to offer reassurance to people visiting, living or working in the area, and also so that we can respond in a timely manner to issues as they arise.
“We also work closely with local residents and business owners, as well as a range of partners including British Transport Police, who are responsible for policing Swansea Central Train Station on High Street.”
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Last year we told how vigilante crime fighters have been forming groups to take on the criminals after police were unable to help.
We told how one group, dubbed the Essex Guardian Angels, set up a system to patrol their streets after police cuts left them feeling fearful of crime.
And it was revealed all over the country desperate Brits have been paying as little as £1-a-month for almost a quarter of a million private policemen to patrol the streets, tackling everything from race hate to stolen puppies.
Athena Picture Agency The city has also been reportedly targeted by drugs gangs from London who send youngsters there to sell for them
Athena Picture Agency Shops have been left abandoned and boarded up as business owners feel forced to give up and leave
Athena Picture Agency Cops say they have been called to more than 1,000 incidents and have a lot of pressure on them
Athena Picture Agency People say they have been driven away by the change in the area
Inside Britain’s WORST street dubbed ‘Wild West’ where locals are too scared to go out and drugs are ‘doled out like sweets’
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