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  • Ystrad Rhondda Station Project

    This project involved young people from the Rhondda Cynon Taf Youth Offending Service and focused on repainting the station footbridge at Ystrad Rhondda.

    The unstaffed station had suffered repeated incidents of graffiti, vandalism and associated anti social behaviour, which affected passenger perception of safety and security.

    For two weekends on Sunday mornings, the young people worked with their supervisors and staff to remove the graffiti and repaint the side walls of the footbridge in Arriva's corporate livery. As a result of their efforts, incidents of graffiti have declined and become more manageable.

    As part of a restorative justice project co-ordinated by Arriva Trains Wales, the YOT has worked alongside staff from the train company to re-paint the footbridge and the removal of graffiti at Ystrad Rhondda.  Future elements of the project will include refurbishment of the platform railings.

    Clare Furey, Reparation Co-ordinator for the Youth Offending Team, said: “Our main objective is to prevent offending by children and young people.  We work in many different ways with young people who have offended and offer support and guidance to their parents and carers.”

    She continued: “We are offering restorative justice, general advice and support to victims of crimes committed by young people.  The project undertaken at Ystrad Rhondda station will help develop new skills and in completing the work will make a positive improvement to the local community.”

    Jez Williams, station manager for Arriva Trains Wales, said: “The main purpose of the partnership with the Youth Offending Team is to offer a sense of direction and leadership to youngsters by trying new activities which will help with personal development.  We are very pleased with the standard of work and are hopeful that the project will help prevent re-offending and improve the travelling experience for rail users.”

    Sergeant Jaci Thomas of the British Transport Police in Pontypridd, said: “The station remains a key priority for the Neighbourhood Policing Team who are addressing youth annoyance issues with high profile proactive patrolling and support from partner agencies.”

    She continued: “We are determined to send out a very clear message that we will use all powers available to target individuals involved in activity that affects the appearance of the station.  Through positive engagement with young people, we are highlighting the consequences of such behaviour to individuals and their parents with a view to preventing further incidents at the station.”