The police are cracking down after complaints about anti-social behaviour near a school on Deeside.
They have increased patrols and issued “yellow cards” to a number of the youths who were congregating in the evenings at Wepre Hall School in Connah’s Quay.
The youngsters were targeting corner properties and throwing items at the property from tennis balls to eggs.
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Winston Roddick was briefed about the situation during a visit to Deeside with his deputy, Julian Sandham.
Mr Roddick said: “The problem of anti-social behaviour is being tackled head on by the police.
“The police are breaking up that pattern of anti-social behaviour and making it clear to those involved that it would not be tolerated.
“It’s made life better for everybody in the area of the school.
“The thing about anti-social behaviour is that lots of people are affected by it, perfectly patient people have to put up with such a lot. They are the end of their tether and although the anti-social behaviour was not a specific crime it was a nuisance, it was disturbing people in the privacy of their own homes.
“Now, the police have got power to deal with it. Young people understand a yellow card – a number of yellow cards will trigger further intervention from the Youth Offending Team and may even involve a court appearance.”
The yellow card scheme was introduced by the police to tackle low-level anti-social behaviour.
If police believe someone has behaved anti-socially, they issue them with a yellow card, take their details and, if they are under 18, inform their parents. They will also receive a warning letter.
Inspector Dave Jolly explained: “A yellow card is an initial warning to someone. It’s a yellow form that the officers will complete if we attend an incident involving young people who may be causing some anti-social behaviour.
“It could be that they are in possession of alcohol and are behaving in a way that is causing people concern.
“In instances like that we will complete a yellow card for them which is then shared with our partners in the Youth Offending Team and people like the housing department
“It’s about flagging up the possible need of some intervention to stop them becoming part of a criminal escalation process.
“It’s an early intervention in its purest form an affords us the opportunities to speak to the mums and dads and hopefully change their behaviour before it becomes more critical.
“At Wepre Lane School, there were a number of local youths going onto the school grounds when the school was shut and causing some anti-social behaviour, causing damage to some local residents’ properties.
“That was dealt with by getting the details of these kids, sharing them with the Youth Offending Team as well as working with parents and guardians.
“We try and work out why these kids are doing what they are doing – whether it’s down to the lack of suitable youth clubs in the area or whether their is a particular attraction that’s causing them to congregate in that area.
“It seems to have worked because we’ve had a reduction in the number of calls to that area and it’s also given the Youth Offending Team the opportunity to work with some of the individuals who have been causing the concern.
“Their behaviour has been addressed and that work has been followed up with the schools.”
Their action was praised by Cllr Eric Owen who met Mr Roddick and Mr Sandham during the visit.
Cllr Owen said: “Any reduction in anti-social behaviour is good and it shows people that something is happening, that they’re being looked after.”