Police support for youth shelter on Anglesey

Image caption,
The shelter is solar powered and features a blue tooth connection to play music on the in-built speakers

Youths on Anglesey have been provided with a £10,000 "shelter" to discourage them from congregating in Llanfachraeth village centre.

The solar-powered construction features lights and a blue tooth connector so that music can be played via the built-in speakers.

It is the second shelter on Anglesey.

Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Adrian Williams sought funding after he decided something needed to be done to improve "anti social issues" there.

"The elderly, and other residents, started to feel intimidated by the young people gathering in such large numbers, and generally just being loud," he said.

PCSO Williams said when he spoke to the youngsters they said they had nowhere to go and nothing to do.

"The matter was made worse because during wet weather they would gather under a bus shelter which is directly outside residential housing for the elderly in the village," he added.

The shelter was paid for with funding from Anglesey Council's Anglesey Safer Communities.

Situated near the village hall, which has also been refurbished recently, the shelter is near the village centre, but away from the main street.

"People can now walk to the shop or public house without having to pass through the group of youths," PCSO Williams said.

Elaine Downs, licensee of the Holland Hotel said: "Before they used to congregate in groups of anything from six to over a dozen.

"It's quieter now though and the shelter is fantastic," she added.

Leaflet and park

Adrian Owen, chairman of the Llanfachraeth Partnership, said the aim was to work together with the young people to see what they needed.

The reopening of the village hall, and the building of the shelter, had resulted in a closer community and a "friendly" working relationship between different generations, he said.

Rhian Hughes, from the regeneration project Menter Môn, said the shelter is one of many projects currently being supported by them through the town and village environment scheme.

It has also funded a village leaflet and a new play park.

"The area has received little or no public funding in the last 15 years so was a great need for these projects to be funded," she said.

"It is increasingly important to develop facilities for young people in rural areas as transport links can be difficult which makes it even harder for them to enjoy their free time," she added.

Ms Hughes said that before the renovation of the village hall there was nowhere for the youth club to meet.

"Since the youth shelter has been erected, along with the minor works on the hall, the youth club is now thriving again and the youth are able to meet in somewhere safe and warm other than in front of the village shop," she said.

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