Pontypool has had an ongoing blight of anti-social behaviour for several years and a business owner and worker expressed how unsafe they feel.

Eve Sipos, 35, owner of Eve's Pole dance and Yoga, which sits above Farmfoods, said she lost clients because of antisocial behaviour and has had to go so far as learning martial arts to feel safe.

“It has been a problem for the last three years. I opened my dance studio in 2019 and since the pandemic kids have been messing around and breaking things.

“They are behaving really badly. They all seem to be 16-year-olds and when 15 to 20 of them gather all in one, it is quite intimidating.

"I obviously have a lot of women coming into my studio. I have made sure we come together and never leave the studio on our own.  

“I started martial arts training, and it has become my new hobby. I have to walk down to town and back and I feel anxious about what is going to happen.” 

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Jess Leonard, 25, who works at fitness centre Curves Pontypool previously told the Argus: “Our main problem is the Riverside car park. We are a women's only gym and park there.  

“There are always very large crowds of children doing drugs, running up and down. They intimidate a lot of our members.”  

Gwent police issued the dispersal order from June 30 until July 2 in light of recent issues with anti-social behaviour in and around the town.   

Lee Stachow, Gwent Police neighbourhood inspector for Torfaen, said: "We’re aware of reports of anti-social behaviour in Pontypool and in particular the town centre over the last few weeks. 

"Anti-social behaviour, and any offences associated to it, is completely unacceptable and we understand the distress it causes our residents. 

"We’re committed to doing what we can, together with our partners and members of the public, to make Pontypool a place where people feel not only safe but can feel proud and enjoy their community. 

"We have recently issued dispersal orders which can be re-introduced if needed and have an increased police presence in the area. 

"When it comes to anti-social behaviour we’re guided not only by information gathered though investigations and patrols but by information the public has provided through their reports. 

"I encourage residents and businesses to keep reporting incidents of anti-social behaviour to us but, more than this, I urge those who call in or message to go beyond just reporting but to also provide statements, submit CCTV, to support us take action against those causing misery to our community. 

"Our message is clear: such behaviour will not be tolerated and with your help those found responsible will be dealt with appropriately."