West Yorkshire Police have warned Pudsey residents concerned about anti-social behaviour in the town centre not to take matters into their own hands.
Acting Police Sergeant Adrian O’Connor has issued the appeal following comments made on social media by some residents suggesting they may tackle some young people themselves.
In a lengthy statement on Facebook, Sgt O’Connor said:
“I’ve been made aware of the recent issues centred around the bus station and park in Pudsey centre.
“These have consisted of a group of teenagers causing issues for members of the public by throwing items including snowballs and eggs at passing motorists, drinking in the bus station and riding bikes in the bus station and causing a general nuisance.
“I am aware of the recent comments on local Facebook pages and I respect that whilst some people are upset that they allow the police and partners from the council to deal with the issue as it would not be appropriate for anyone to take matters into their own hands, no matter how well intentioned as this could lead to that person facing a prosecution which is not something we would want.
“From checking the recent calls for service to the area there have been five recent reports over December, which have been attended at the time by officers.
“I would encourage anyone who witnesses any Crime or Anti-Social Behaviour to report the issues and if any information can be given to identify those involved this will assist us in considering prosecutions or for applying for an injunction under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act.
“We have previously carried out work in this area which has resulted in a reduction of calls for service and reports of Anti-Social Behaviour in October and November 2017.
“This included targeting several identified males in partnership with the Leeds Anti-Social Behaviour Team and having an increased police presence in the area.
“Due to the recent issues I will pass the incidents onto the Local Ward Manager for the area to co-ordinate extra patrols, add to the local problem solving plan and look to discuss the wider issues with the Leeds Anti-Social Behaviour Team and other partners and identify what action is most appropriate for us to take.
“I will also request that a discussion is held with Youth Services to see if anything further can be put in place to try and divert those involved.
“Reports of ongoing incidents can be made via calling 101, reported online via our website; or via the 999 service in the case of an emergency which would include an ongoing crime, any incident where someone may come to harm or damage to property could be caused and any wider real concern for someone’s safety. An available officer can then be dispatched as appropriate and within the appropriate time scales.
“If anyone would like to pass information about those involved or any incident which has already occurred then you can email the local neighbourhood policing team at OuterWest@westyorkshire.pnn.police.uk; this address should not be used to report an ongoing issue as it is not constantly monitored.”
Sgt O’Connor’s comments have been backed by Pudsey councillors Mick Coulson, Josie Jarosz and Richard Lewis.
The Dispatch reported on problems with anti-social behaviour in Pudsey during the summer.