PLANS to gate off alleyways on a Wrexham housing estate have been given the green light in a bid to make the community safer.
Wrexham Council’s executive board has today (Tuesday, 9 March) approved proposals to restrict access to eight alleyways in the Queensway area of Caia Park, which have been described as “rat runs” for criminals.
It forms part of a range of initiatives to cut crime on the estate, which are being paid for via a £550,000 funding package from the Home Office.
The gates are specifically targeted at reducing burglaries after statistics were published showing there had been 105 house break ins in the area between 2016 to 2019.
A report to executive board members showed that more than 60 per cent of the offences occurred at night, with entry gained through back doors via rear alleyways.
It claimed that introducing gating could reduce burglaries by more than 40 per cent, based on figures from areas where similar measures have been put in place.
Speaking at the virtual meeting, Cllr Hugh Jones, the local authority’s lead member for public protection and community safety, said: “This is part of a £550,000 fund which has come from the Home Office via the Police and Crime Commissioner.
“It was allocated to the Queensway ward because it had a level of crime which met the criteria for this funding.
“The opportunity here is to improve the overall safety of the community in the Queensway ward to include CCTV, alleyway gates and environmental improvements.
“This particular proposal relates to alleyway gates which is an important part of making communities feel safer.”
He added: “The degree of consultation which has taken place as part of this process has been really extensive.
“Each resident affected by the order has been contacted at least twice and a number of amendments have been made to the gating.”
A number of concerns were raised by residents, including that blocking the alleys would make it difficult for care workers and delivery drivers to access their properties.
In order to address the issue, people whose homes back onto the alleys will be provided with keys to unlock the gates, while others who require access will be able to get a key from a 24-hour security hut.
Cllr Jones had previously urged his colleagues to ensure the gates were installed “as soon as possible” as the criteria for the fund requires work to be completed before the end of this month.
Executive board members unanimously voted in favour of implementing a Public Spaces Protection Order covering the alleys to enable the plans to move forward.
Other measures to drive down crime levels on the estate will include extra CCTV cameras and the use of automatic number plate recognition technology to monitor organised crime groups.