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Antisocial behaviour in Hyde Park and Headingley: An update

Noise nuisance and antisocial behaviour is and has been a long-term issue in the Headingley and Hyde Park area. Whilst the problems are easy to identify, sustainable solutions are much more complex and rely on the work of several agencies, as well as residents themselves, I have put together below a guide to the issue, the steps that I and others are currently taking and information about how you can get involved to help.

Background

There have been numerous complaints about antisocial behaviour in the area, which have spanned several years and are not limited to one household or one set of tenants. The transient nature of the student population of Hyde Park and Headingley means that turnover is high and single actions against households is not likely to stop the problem in the longer term. It is important to note that the vast majority of students are good neighbours, respectful and contributors to our area. That said, we know that a small minority can cause major distress, both for long term residents and for other students. Currently, the below organisations are aware and involved:

  • Universities
  • Councillors
  • Police
  • Safer communities (Council)
  • ASB Teams at Leeds Council

Who is responsible for tackling anti-social behaviour (ASB)?

Typically, local authorities and the police lead on tackling anti-social behaviour. However, many public, private and social organisations work to prevent and respond to ASB. There is a legal framework to encourage public sector bodies to work together to tackle ASB. There have been long-standing concerns that this framework is not as effective as it could be.

Where we are now:

We facilitated a meeting to discuss the issues recently with the above parties. The outcomes are as follows:

  • The universities agreed that they would review and increase their support for the area, and that residents could contribute to this review by e-mailing their experiences to neighbourhood.helpline@leeds.ac.uk You can still e-mail this address with your thoughts now.
  • Both Leeds Beckett University and the University of Leeds have now confirmed long term funding which includes the “pre-fresher” period (June-September) as well as longer term plans.
  • Anti-Social behaviour teams in LS6 currently are running an “enhanced” service, they are moving from this to a “dedicated” service, one bespoke to our area and the issues we face. Some of the issues being looked at include; shift timings, hours of operation and number of shifts; shift patterns & anti-social hours; staffing; how the service links with existing Police resources; the balance of prevention and reactive response; the impact of the pending Leedswatch review – due for implementation in September; stakeholder Communications and Performance Management
  • In this interim period, having discussed provision with Leedswatch who run the out of hours service, it has been agreed that there will now be a dedicated service for the Inner North West Area. This has now been implemented and these response shifts are 6pm – 4am. This is an interim measure of a dedicated resource whilst longer term plans are being worked on and implemented as they are ready.

The Local Councillors are dedicated to securing a long-term solution but these are the first key steps. Further meetings will be taking place before term starts to discuss progress.

As you may have also seen from the HHP Councillors Facebook update

“Over the weekend there was an extensive patrol & monitoring of properties where there have been issues recently, with a view to try to stop further issues before they occur. There were re-visits to the properties recently served with section 80s & closure warnings. Officers attended a number of Out Of Hours calls to properties also.

85 Section 80’s were issued last week to addresses in: the Escourts, the Royal Parks, the Brudenells, the Norwoods, the Trelawns, the Mayvilles, the Hessles, Cardigan Road, the Winstons, the Granbys, the area around the Manors & Richmonds and others.

Five noise warning letters were also issued in and around LS6.”

My role and how I can help.

Whilst the legislation delegates powers to local authorities and the Police, I am aware that residents have called for changes to the current legislations and laws. Whilst changing legislation is complex, lengthy and not always a viable option, I am keen to know what specific changes you would like to see and to which legislation.  Below I have provided some information on the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 which is the most relevant to this case. Please email me at alex@alexsobel.co.uk with your thoughts on this and in the first instance I will raise them with the Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-7270/

Written Parliamentary Questions

I have tabled the below Parliamentary Questions

1.To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to help local authorities tackle noise complaints and antisocial behaviour in Yorkshire and the Humber. 

 2.To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what strategies the police are deploying to (a) tackle antisocial behaviour by students in residential areas and (b) encourage those students to change their behaviour.

I have Written to Tracy Brabin’s team to ask for support and I am seeking a meeting with the new deputy Mayor for Policing.

Unfortunately, Labour are not in Government, but I hope to see the following policy implemented in the next Parliament. https://labour.org.uk/press/government-urgently-needs-to-tackle-staggering-increase-in-anti-social-behaviour/

 

What to do if you are experiencing ASB

If you experience any noise nuisance at night (past 6pm), please call 0113 376 0337 to get through to our anti-social behaviour teams.

If you are in any immediate danger call the police on 999, or 101 if you need to speak to the police but it is not urgent.

If you wish to speak to the universities about a specific property, please e-mail neighbourhood.helpline@leeds.ac.uk.

All details are correct at date of publication shown at the top of the article

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