873 crimes reported in Swansea's Wind Street
THERE were almost 900 reported crimes in Wind Street last year — and almost double that if figures for surrounding streets are included.
The figures from South Wales Police come ahead of a report to be debated by Swansea Council this week which will consider the cumulative impact of licensed premises on the city centre.
The police figures show Wind Street witnesses most city centre crime, with 873 incidents reported to police during 2011/12.
And when neighbouring streets in close proximity to Wind Street are included, the figure rises to 1,540.
For the same period, there were 276 recorded crimes in The Kingsway, and 289 in High Street and College Street. The report also notes 317 recorded crimes for Oxford Street, despite being a largely retail area.
It concludes: "It is clear from the initial evidence provided that the highest level or recorded crimes and highest levels of complaints and issues requiring investigation are in the areas with the highest concentration of licensed premises.
"The exception is Oxford Street, which has a high level of crime but is predominately a retail area.
"These crimes may be attributable to the fact Oxford Street is used as a thoroughfare to The Kingsway area and other parts of the city during the night and early hours of the morning."
The report also details complaints made to the authority's Environment Department regarding noise, waste and trading standards.
It found that of 384 complaints over such issues during the same period, 57 per cent were in Wind Street, with the rest distributed throughout Castle Ward.
To help tackle problems in the area, a crisis centre is now deployed on busy nights during the year. The Safer Swansea Partnership introduced it last year to tackle revellers who cause trouble on nights out in Swansea.
Manned by police and emergency health staff, it was introduced following a rise in drink and drug-fuelled crime in both Wind Street and The Kingsway. And staff are also able to keep in touch with police, CCTV operators and licensed premises with a "nite-net" radio system.
Earlier this year, police also welcomed proposals to introduce minimum alcohol prices in a bid to tackle booze-related crime.
The report to go before Swansea Council will propose special policies being introduced for Wind Street, The Kingsway, High Street and College Street.
The special policies would "create a rebuttable presumption that applications for the grant or variation of premises licences or club premises certificates, which are likely to add to the existing cumulative impact, will normally be refused or subject to certain limitations... unless the applicant can demonstrate there will be no negative cumulative impact on one or more of the licensing objectives".