Posted: Wed 10th May 2023

Calls for permanent police presence in Prestatyn amid anti-social behaviour concerns

North Wales news and information
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, May 10th, 2023

Politicians have backed a motion to work towards having a permanent police presence in Prestatyn.

Councillors voted in favour of establishing a new police building in the town centre at a Denbighshire County Council meeting held at the authority’s Ruthin HQ yesterday.

Conservative councillor Hugh Irving tabled the motion as he said the town had suffered since North Wales Police left its base in the town and moved to St Asaph Business Park some years ago.

Cllr Irving said North Wales Police had since occupied several temporary sites, including council offices on Nant Hall Road, but that a more permanent solution was needed.

He said: “There is concern within the Prestatyn community that one of the larger towns in North Wales remains for many years (without a permanent police presence) after the divisional police headquarters local facilities were relocated to the St Asaph Business Park.

“Every rateable property in Prestatyn contributes at least £330 to finance the police service. In the town there are many new residential developments on the way, so this income will in fact rise as new housing estates are built and new rateable values come in.

“This amount is going to rise substantially, but we will also have an increased population, and with that comes demand, and there are already anti-social behaviour issues requiring frequent intervention.”

He added: “We realise there is little head room in the North Wales Police’s capital programme to build new facilities, but there is an opportunity for Denbighshire County Council to work with them and provide them with premises suitable for local police facilities within the town centre in a project we have nearing completion on Nant Hall Road on the site of the former library.

“It is proposed that the council pass a resolution asking the authority to intensify their discussions regarding these premises with North Wales Police and take all action within their power to negotiate terms that will meet this objective.”

In response, Labour council leader Jason McLellan said he had already recently met with the region’s police and crime commissioner Andy Dunbobbin to discuss more than one potential site.

He said: “We had a good look around the town centre. We had a discussion about potential sites. It was a positive meeting.

“I would say this council is already doing what the motion is asking to do anyway.”

Cllr McLellan appeared to blame the previous Conservative-led administration for the situation, implying it had made the decision to sell the Nant Hall Road building for development.

He said: “I’m going to say this because it needs to be said: This has come from the Conservative group.

“The Conservative UK government cut policing – 21,000 police officers were taken off the beat between 2010 and 2018, including officers here in Wales and in North Wales and Denbighshire.

“I’m going to take issue with something Hugh said about the Nant Hall Road site having to close.

“My understanding is that a decision was made by the previous council to remove both the police presence and the health presence there.

“We’ve got a motion to have a police presence in Prestatyn, yet the previous council, as far as I understand, removed the police presence.”

Cllr Irving said he not want a political argument and called for a cross-party approach to resolve the situation.

After Cllr McLellan explained talks were already under way with North Wales Police, the motion’s wording was changed to reflect the ongoing nature of the discussions.

By Richard Evans – Local Democracy Reporter

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