THERE are fears that crime rates have increased on Bangor’s biggest housing estate since a controversial dispersal order was introduced in the city centre.
A number of incidents in Maesgeirchen have been reported over the last few months, including vandalism of bus stops, thefts of lead from a church roof, and a anti-social behaviour outside a Chinese restaurant on the estate.
Cllr Nigel Pickavance said: “Since the dispersal order, I’ve seen crime rates go up in my ward, so it’s setting off the alarm bells. Whether or not that’s a result of the dispersal order, I don’t know.
“As much as I applaud the crime rates going down in the dispersal zone, we have to look at the wider scale, to see if it has moved crime elsewhere.
“If it has, it’s more than a coincidence.”
A spokesperson for North Wales Police said: “There have been one or two incidents in Maesgeirchen over the last few months, but the locations of those incidents are the specific locations which will be targetted during Operation Magni, and we are addressing those concerns with double patrols.
“These incidents are not a direct result of displacement of crime from the city centre, because the people causing it aren’t displaced from other areas of Bangor.”
The dispersal order, which bans unaccompanied children aged nine to 16 years old from the City Centre after 9pm, comes to an end on Tuesday December 18, but Police are now considering extending it following it’s success.
Police announced a 7 per cent drop in anti-social behaviour within the zone to September, as well as a 28 per cent redcuction in overall crime, as officers have issued 58 dispersal notices up to the end of November.
Cllr Pickavance added: “I have been against it from day one, because of the way it was brought about, and the age group it targets.
“The people intimidating others on the High Street is not 9 year olds, they are 17 or older, so that needs to be adressed.”
Mayor Councillor Bryn Hughes said: “I’m glad the figures show it’s worked. Our last meeting with the police showed that crime percentages in the area have dropped so it’s defninitely something we’re welcoming.
“If they want to bring it in again, I have have no problem with that, so long as it’s publicised better this time, and doesn’t frighten people like last time.”