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We are aware of concerns within the Merthyr Tydfil community regarding youths engaging in crime and Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) in the area. A multiagency group, consisting of police, local authority representatives and schools has been coordinated in response to patterns of behaviour and incidents of criminality involving youths in recent months. The aim of the group is to identify and engage effectively with those involved to prevent further escalation or repeat incidents.
South Wales Police have arrested ten key individuals, aged between 12 and 17, and have made 29 charges in connection with a number of separate offences, including one robbery, a number of assaults and other lower-level ASB incidents. Those individuals are currently on police bail with conditions not to contact one another. They are also excluded from certain areas in the town; must reside at their home addresses; and are on curfews which means they must be at home between certain times. Failure to comply with these conditions renders them liable to immediate arrest.
Such criminality will not be tolerated and we are committed to identify and act on issues at the earliest opportunity, working together to address those issues – whatever they may be – through enforcement and robust intervention programmes.
We recognise that there are concerns among some school age children, their parents, and teachers; safeguarding partners are carrying out reassurance visits to schools, which will also be an opportunity to educate and support them.
It is important to understand that only a small number of youths in Merthyr Tydfil are involved. The behaviour of these individuals is in no way a true or fair reflection of the young people of Merthyr Tydfil or indeed the town itself - Merthyr Tydfil is a safe place and will continue to be so. What is a true reflection of Merthyr Tydfil is the united response we have had from schools, parents, youth organisations and young people themselves, who were all ready to acknowledge the issue and have worked with us from the outset to tackle it.