Old block of flats in Leeds

Committing to safer communities

Leeds City Council has reiterated its commitment to creating safer communities and tackling anti-social behaviour, as new court orders are introduced.

After evidence of drug dealing and other criminal activity had been traced to an area of 15 blocks of flats within Leeds, the magistrates court granted partial closer orders. These will ensure that only residents and authorised visitors are allowed within communal areas like foyers, landings, storage spaces, stairwells and lifts. Authorised visitors do include the friends and relatives of residents, as well as tradespeople.

This move has made entering these areas without permission an arrestable offence, which will aim to deter people who have previously gathered in the above areas and undertaken unlawful activities, causing a nuisance and alarming residents.

Leeds community safety quote - Cllr Mary Harland

Executive Member for Communities, Customer Service, and Community Safety at Leeds City Council, Cllr Mary Harland, said:

“We are determined to ensure Leeds is a place filled with communities that are welcoming, inclusive and, above all else, safe. It’s really encouraging, therefore, to see the impact that the new court orders are already having on people’s lives.

“No one should ever be in a position where they feel worried about opening their door or getting into a lift, and the measures introduced across these 15 tower blocks will hopefully mean greater peace of mind for local residents.

“The court orders are also a great example of the power of collaborative working and we’re extremely grateful to West Yorkshire Police for their support and expertise.

“The work of Team Leodis is very much ongoing, with police and council staff looking to achieve similarly effective results in other parts of the city.”

The restrictions will be in place for an initial three-month period, with an option being held to extend it by a further three months.

Inspector Alastair Nicholls, West Yorkshire Police’s Leeds East Neighbourhood Policing Team, added:

“A substantial amount of partnership work has been ongoing with Leeds City Council as part of our joint Team Leodis initiative to use all the tools at our disposal, including court powers, to curb anti-social behaviour.

“We believe these partial closure orders will have a positive effect on residents’ quality of life by putting a barrier in place to persons congregating and potentially offending in communal areas.

“The orders will be enforced by the Leeds East Neighbourhood Policing Team and could result in persons being arrested if they are in breach of them.

“We do of course continue to monitor the flats with partners and will take action against persons who breach these new orders or commit any other offending which affects the quality of life of residents.”

According to Leeds City Council, supported by West Yorkshire Police, successful results have already been achieved in areas such as Holbeck, Seacroft, Burmantofts, and Richmond Hill.

 

Image credit: iStock

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