Businesses on Armley Town Street have been encouraged to fill in harassment diaries in a bid to tackle nuisance street drinkers in the area.
Armley Forum members last night heard that only four out of a potential 30 Town Street businesses had filled in the diaries, which were given out to shops to record problems with anti-social behaviour. Police and the council are hoping to use the diaries as evidence to apply for injunctions with powers of arrest to ban problem drinkers from Town Street.
Cllr Alison Lowe (Lab, Armley) said:
“We’re only going to get one chance to do this. There are five main individuals who we know are the main issues on Town Street and unless we get the support of businesses we’re going to struggle to get enough evidence.
“There was a recent case in an other part of the country where a judge threw an application for an injunction out because all the information came from police and wasn’t backed up by evidence from the community – businesses really need to help themselves to tackle these problems.”
She added that one of the drinkers had been evicted from his council house, following complaints from neighbours.
PCSO Carroll said he’d delivered all the diaries by hand but was disappointed at the takeup. He added:
“Ten of them said they’d never received one when I know they did as I’d delivered them all themselves. The more we have the easier it will be to get the banning orders and the logs are evidential.”
He also encouraged shoppers to report any problems they experience with anti-social behaviour or intimidation to police.
One trader, who runs the ‘Mr Moti-vapor’ shop on Town Street, called for more action after suffering abuse from drinkers who congregate on a bench outside. The meeting, at Armley Library, voted against his request to have the bench removed.
Meeting chairman Cllr Jim McKenna added: “I promise you we are doing our best but it is not an easy one to solve.”
St Barts college withdrawal
Sue Vickers, manager at Leeds City College’s St Bartholomew’s Centre (at Strawberry Lane Community Centre), updated the forum on the college’s withdrawal from Armley due to government funding cuts to its adult education budget.
She said staff were distraught at the move but added that she hoped some of the courses would be rehomed in local centres.
It was revealed that Armley Library was a likely venue for some of the courses.
Householders from around 16 properties in Armley have been contacted by the council about the possibility of installing solar panels. The council scheme would see enough electricity generated to power the properties during the day.