A councillor has said that youngsters in Pontefract are becoming more involved in anti-social behaviour.
It follows recent revelations that around 14,000 youth workers across the country have lost their jobs during the past decade. Hundreds of youth centres have also closed during that time.
Speaking at a Wakefield Council scrutiny meeting on Monday, Coun David Jones, (pictured) who is a ward councillor in the town, said that youth provision was “becoming more important”.
He added: “That’s because of some of the things we’re picking up on the estates and the children who are getting into trouble now.
“In the past week or two there’s been various operations going on in our area and that’s because some of the children are becoming a real problem.
“The timing of it fits with the cuts in those areas, and I know there are children who are really struggling and getting involved in all sorts of activities.”
Earlier this year, police inspector Paul Sullivan said that officers were struggling to cope with “wild” and “out of control” young offenders in the Five Towns and South Elmsall areas.
He reported how a gang had been caught throwing bricks at cars on Pontefract’s Warwick estate, and that serious incidents coming to police attention were involving children under the age of 10.
And in April, Coun Jones’ colleague, Coun Celia Loughran, said she was concerned about teenagers’ behaviour in the town because they had “nowhere to go”.