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They say the "criminals have won" as they shut up shop for good, adding it's unsafe even to walk along the streets after 5pm.
Customers and staff have been scared away as the presence of drugs such as Spice have become common in the area.
Last year 1,164 incidents were recorded by South Wales Police, with 387 as crimes, with city centre sergeant saying the figures show "the high level of demand" placed upon the force.
A pub on the high street has closed for good, with the young landlord, Geraint Couch, admitting defeat.
He told the Daily Mail: "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."
Shops have been left abandoned and boarded up as business owners feel forced to give up and leave.
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