Five people have had injunctions served on them to help stop street drinking, drug use and anti-social behaviour in the Armley Town Street area.
West Yorkshire Police say the injunctions, which prohibit them drinking alcohol in the area, are the result of months of gathering evidence by officers from Leeds Anti-Social Behaviour Team’s Operation Leodis.
Officers say that despite a number of previous initiatives over the years, which have addressed the problems at the time, the Town Street area had seen a re-emergence of issues, particularly around street drinking and use of the drug Spice.
The alcohol and drug issues have been behind unruly and abusive behaviour as well as thefts and assaults, which have impacted on people’s feelings of safety.
The Operation Leodis team carried out detailed investigations into the issues and identified a number of individuals behind a significant proportion of the incidents.
Injunctions under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2014 were sought against the group and on Thursday last week orders were granted against fived individuals at Leeds County Court.
They prohibit them from being in possession of an open vessel containing alcohol in a set exclusion zone around Armley Town Street, and from consuming alcohol in that area, except in licensed premises. The injunctions last for 12 months.
Applications for orders on three other individuals are still progressing through the court process.
At the same time, officers are working with relevant support services to address any addiction or health needs of those targeted by the orders.
The injunctions form part of a longer-term strategy to bring lasting change to the area through a range of work by police and partner agencies, such as Leeds City Council.
This includes increased patrols by neighbourhood policing team officers, increased licensing activity and regular operations to tackle street drinking and anti-social behaviour.
In July, a ‘Partial Closure Order’ was granted by magistrates for Armley Town Street and the surrounding area which prohibits possession of open containers of alcohol in public places other than licensed or residential premises. Leeds magistrates granted a three-month extension to that order last Friday, until January 14, 2022.
The order has seen 35 warnings issues a further 13 breaches identified for further action through the courts.
Police and local authority Licensing have also carried out checks on all licensed premises in the area and identified a number of breaches.
Inspector Phil Gill, who heads the Leeds West Neighbourhood Policing Team, said:
“We have been very acutely aware of the issues caused by a minority of individuals in this area, and the completely unacceptable negative impact that this has had on the community.
“We have been working closely alongside our partner agencies for a number of years now to address any increased problems when they have occurred, and we remain committed to doing everything we can to improve the situation.
“The granting of these injunctions and the extension of the partial closure order should give real support to the wider work that we will be continuing with, and we hope people in the area will continue to see some significant improvements.
“We will continue to monitor the situation going forward and will take firm action over any breaches of the orders and also work to ensure the issues are not just displaced elsewhere.”
Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member with responsibility for Safer Leeds, said:
“Any form of anti-social behaviour is a blight on our communities, and residents can be assured that we will always seek to use every resource at our disposal to put to a stop to it.
“I very much welcome therefore that through the courts we have been able to secure, in partnership with West Yorkshire Police, anti-social behaviour injunction orders against five individuals whose unacceptable actions were causing significant issues in and around Armley Town Street.
“We will be monitoring closely the terms of these injunctions to ensure they are fully complied with.”
In recent weeks WLD has reported on plans to improve the area, including a new performance area and pocket park, and the introduction of meeters and greeters to encourage shoppers. Earlier today we reported on a review of all the areas in Leeds where off licences where it is more difficult to get new permission to sell alcohol, including Armley.