Wales

Begging in Wrexham set to be targeted in new crackdown

Police officer on a street in Wales
Image caption Officials are now seeking more powerful measures after pressure from local communities

Begging and intimidating behaviour could be targeted under a new crackdown on crime around Wrexham town centre.

Council bosses are consulting on an enhanced Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) after rules centred on the main shopping precincts recently lapsed.

They gave police and council staff the power to fine people £100 for anti-social behaviour such as drinking, drug taking, sleeping rough and littering.

Officials said the aim was to "break the cycle" of anti-social activity.

The council had not been expected to renew the orders but responded to pressure from community leaders in areas like Rhosddu, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

A consultation document said the aim of a new PSPO would be to "encourage vulnerable people to access support and services, seeking to break the cycle of behaviour and vulnerability they can be locked into".

"By not addressing concerns effectively it is clear that there is risk to the quality of life of residents, a risk to the reputation of Wrexham, including loss of trade and attractiveness to new businesses, and subsequently a reduction in visitors/tourists to the area," the document added.

People are being encouraged to share their views online, with the responses to be considered by Wrexham's ruling executive board in October.

Wrexham MP Ian Lucas recently criticised the council for disbanding a high-level taskforce - known as the "gold" group - set up to tackle anti-social behaviour by drug users.

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