Rhyl: Why there is more to the town than crime statistics

  • Full report by Carole Green

Violent crime and sexual offences have risen every year from 2016 in Rhyl, according to recent crime figures, making it one of the most violent and deprived areas in England and Wales.

The trend only stopped during recent lockdowns, which saw dramatic falls in crime in the area as the night-time economy shut down.

ITV Cymru Wales' Work and Economy Correspondent Carole Green has been speaking to those who know Rhyl best about why there is more to the town than crime figures and negative headlines. 

RNLI volunteers Jan and Peter Robinson have lived in the town all their lives and said the  positives and community spirit is often overlooked. 

Peter said, "We've got quite a large population here who work very, very hard to promote the town and opening new businesses so it's on the up and up.

"We probably reached a base level five or six years ago but since then, it's getting better all the time."

Owain Colwell has recently opened a coffee shop and co-working space in the town. He told ITV News he is hoping it will bring the community together and provide some positivity.

He said, "We're not changing the world but we want to provide this positivity for young people and people starting businesses and giving a really big emphasis on community and building a place together where people can come together and network effectively.

When asked about critics' comments about the town, Owain was keen to focus on the positives.

"Everywhere's got its challenges", he said.

"They may be of the opinion that there's some deprivation within Rhyl, but we've got to be focused now on what we can do to fix these problems and make a positive impact to the greater community."

Carole speaking to business owners in Rhyl. Credit: ITV Wales

Hari Krish has opened a supermarket by the seafront.

He agrees that the town gets bad press, but said there's "always trouble" in the area.

He said, "There's three or four pubs in front of the shop. Night time we have trouble always. Every Friday and Saturday, we get trouble always. Rhyl is like a party place - we need to be very careful with the business."

But Krish believes things are improving and is happy with the decision to invest in the area.

"I've got good customers. There are good people living in the neighbourhood", he said.

Locals believe that the new vision is slowly taking shape and its time the old tired opinions caught up. 

  • Carole Green speaks to Dr James Davies, the Conservative MP for Vale of Clwyd, about his plans to 'level up' Rhyl and what that means for the people there: