By Christian Lee. Additional reporting: John Baron
Young people need their own facilities and more activities to keep them out trouble on a night – that’s the feeling of Pudsey residents following growing problems anti-social behaviour in the town centre.
Pudsey Bus Station’s waiting room now closes at 6pm in response to the rise in anti-social behaviour in the area. The terminal currently has two vandalised windows boarded up.
WLD visited the bus station to see what young and old felt could be done to stop central Pudsey “becoming a no-go zone”, as local resident Roy Smith described it. “It’s terrible with all the gangs of lads in here [the bus station],” Mr Smith said. “Central Pudsey is becoming a no go zone. I don’t know what we can do to improve it.”
Defrim Nurgh said: “[Children] need more to keep them interested. Local councils and governments should do something, create something for them.”
A local security guard agreed that a lack of resources is an issue: “I have a youth and community development background. I stopped doing that when there was no funds for provision.
“The young people have nothing to do except cause trouble. We don’t have youth centres anymore. That thing may not catch every single one of them but if you can get one or two some of that work pans out.”
Phillip Sullivan suggested that a more immediate solution may help: “More policing to start off with. Whether that is community support officers or police.
“I know there was a guy assaulted and the police didn’t even turn up. You can still see the blood.”
He also felt that education was important, especially for children to make sure they understood standing around in big groups could be intimidating for others.
One 15-year-old boy, who was waiting for a bus with his mother, said: “I know lads who come up here on a night because there’s nothing else for them to do. Or the things that are there cost money they might not have.”
His mother added: “I’d never let my son up here, some parents just don’t care what their kids are up to. That being said, nobody bothers to ask the kids what they want to do and what activities they’d like to see. Where’s the engagement? They need their own space that they have created themselves. What about the visitor centre in Pudsey Park? That’d be ideal for them to take on and create something for themselves.”
A 17-year-old girl added: “Pudsey is boring, but you can’t go creating trouble like some are. Some say things are boring as an excuse to cause trouble.”
It is yet to be seen if the waiting room curfew will help curb anti-social behaviour. For local residents a combination of community outreach and the greater presence of authority are seen as potential solutions to the ongoing issue.
What are some of the youth activities happening in Pudsey?
Youth cafe – Pudsey Community Project’s weekly youth cafe runs every Monday from 6.45-8.15pm. Open for 11-17 year olds. A Tuesday board games night runs 6pm-7pm for school years 4-6 and 7.15pm-8.30pm for years 7-11. Contact Naomi@pudseycommunity.org.uk to register. Details on all activities here.
The Friday Night Project – offers activities for young people aged eight to 18. More details here.
The Music Box – provides positive and engaging musical activities and events for children, young people. It meets at Pudsey House. Details here.
Sports teams – Pudsey Juniors FC offers a raft of teams and ages, as do neighbouring Farsley Celtic and Leeds 28 FC. Stanningley Rugby Club has junior teams, and if cricket is your thing, Pudsey has both St Lawrence and Congs.
Community centres – Places like Swinnow Community Centre offer activities aimed at young people.
There are lots more! Help us add to this list by telling us about an activity by e-mailing email@example.com.