Crack down on antisocial behaviour and rough sleeping in New Wortley
People who live in council flats in New Wortley will soon notice a reduction in antisocial behaviour and rough sleepers, thanks to a new injunction awarded to Leeds City Council this week.
Leeds City Council sought the injunction from Leeds County Court in response to reports of anti-social behaviour, drug use and rough sleeping in communal areas, from residents of the Clyde and Wortley flats in New Wortley.
At a hearing earlier this week, the council successfully obtained an open-ended injunction against ‘person’s unknown’ to prevent drug use and possession, toileting and sleeping in the communal areas of these flats.
In a novel use of section 153 of the Housing Act the council was able to obtain injunctions against “persons unknown” to protect residents of the blocks of flats and protect the council’s ability to manage the properties, enabling them to take action even when the identities of the individuals are not known initially.
If the injunction is breached the council can then apply to have the individual excluded from the area and if they return again they will risk arrest and contempt proceedings.
His Honour Judge Andrew Saffman, who granted the injunction commented that “that this type of behaviour shouldn’t be happening at all” and so saw no sense in placing a time limit on the injunctions.
Councillor Peter Gruen, executive member responsible for neighbourhoods, planning and support services and chair of the Safer Leeds Partnership said:
“Our residents should not have to put up with this type of anti-social and extremely unpleasant behaviour in the communal areas of their homes, so it is great news that the court has granted us these rare powers to take action against people – even where their identity is unknown.
“By working closely with the police and third sector organisations we can help make the living conditions much more pleasant for the residents of The Clyde and Wortley flats.”
Residents of these flats had previously reported groups of transient people using the communal areas to sleep rough, toilet and use Class A drugs. The issues reported included people being found asleep in stairwells and chute rooms, urine and faeces being found on stairs, in chute rooms and in the lifts, and people being found injecting drugs with the associated mess left behind of blood spills and discarded needles.
Leeds City Council’s antisocial behaviour team, West Yorkshire Police and CRI Street Outreach Team and BARCA Leeds are carrying out joint enforcement action at these locations over the weekend – so filming and photography opportunities are possible. Please contact Leeds City Council press office on 0113 2474713 to discuss.
Leeds City Council’s antisocial behaviour team and housing officers have been working alongside West Yorkshire Police and third sector organisations to tackle this problem and have sought this injunction from the courts in a bid to make the flats a safer and more pleasant place to live.
S153A of the Housing Act allows the Council to prevent conduct “capable of causing nuisance or annoyance” and is tied to the Housing Management Function.
The partners working together to tackling the issues in New Wortley include Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire Police, CRI, BARCA, St George Crypt and staff from the local primary school and family centre.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713