Is this the worst High Street in Britain? Businesses in Swansea say they are shutting up shop amid 'plague of drug addicts and prostitutes' with police called more than 1,000 times in one year

Business owners say they have been driven out of a historic high street for good by rising crime.
Entrepreneurs in Swansea say they are 'shutting up shop' due to guns, violence, prostitution and drugs, lamenting: 'The criminals have won.'
They say it is unsafe to walk along the pavements after 5pm when prostitutes and drug users high on the synthetic drug spice take over – posing a risk to customers and staff.

Last year alone, South Wales Police recorded an astonishing 1,164 incidents in the high street of the coastal city – one of the highest figures in Britain.
One case saw a thug jailed after attacking a man in a pub by smashing him in the face with a pole. Another man was jailed after attacking two prostitutes.
Last night the White Swan pub on the high street closed for the final time after young businessman Geraint Couch gave up the fight against rising crime. 
A cafe across the road has already shut permanently and is partly boarded up with little chance of anyone taking it on.
And Walsingham Support – a charity based close to the pub that provides accommodation for nine vulnerable adults – is considering moving out of the area. Mr Couch took on the White Swan at the top of the high street in May last year, hoping he could turn it around. He introduced craft beers and live entertainment.
Now he has closed the business claiming he's 'had enough' of crime and the lack of police action.
He said: 'I'm giving up. I have tried really hard, but people don't like to come up here as they are scared. Even my friends don't visit. We just do not get protection up here.
'There is no CCTV. We have prostitutes regularly standing on the street, and there is violence. I saw a guy beating up his girlfriend, and when I tried to intervene he turned on me. The place is just abandoned. I've tried to make a real go of this place, but I've had enough.'
The owner of a neighboring business claimed the 'last straw' for Mr Couch came when a man used an air rifle to take shots at passers-by, a day after the New Zealand mosque massacre.
The entrepreneur, who didn't want to be named, said: 'This is the high street, a city's traditional centre of trade and commerce. But people are shutting up shop and no one cares. The criminals have won.'
A female carer who works at Walsingham Support said she refuses to walk along the street after 5pm. She added: 'You can't walk along with your purse or your mobile phone in your hand, they would be gone. We don't see the police or community support officers here.'
Don Roberts, 52, who runs an alternative medicine store two doors down from the White Swan, said: 'There is a heavy spice problem at this end of Swansea's high street.'
Swansea has also been targeted by London-based 'county lines' drugs gangs who have trafficked youngsters 200 miles into the city to sell drugs.
The high street was once the main shopping street in Swansea city center. It also had a thriving arts scene and is home to the historic Palace Theater, which once attracted huge acts such as Charlie Chaplain and Morecambe and Wise.
Now the theatre has closed and campaigners fear the Victorian building could collapse.
Sergeant Andrew Hedley, of South Wales Police, said police regularly patrolled the high street and city centre to tackle the problems of crime and antisocial behaviour.
'We are committed to tackling crime and those areas continue to receive focus and attention,' he said. 'We work in partnership with a range of agencies to safeguard vulnerable sex workers. A number of operations have run in the city center in the past year to tackle antisocial behaviour.'
Is this the worst High Street in Britain? Businesses in Swansea say they are shutting up shop amid 'plague of drug addicts and prostitutes' with police called more than 1,000 times in one year Is this the worst High Street in Britain? Businesses in Swansea say they are shutting up shop amid 'plague of drug addicts and prostitutes' with police called more than 1,000 times in one year Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 11:30 Rating: 5

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