Leeds,
19
May
2015
|
00:01
Europe/London

LASBT takes action against drug dealing in high rise blocks

Nobody in our city should have to suffer in silence because of anti-social behaviour.
Councillor Mark Dobson

A targeted operation to clamp down on drug dealing and other anti-social behaviour in four west Leeds high-rise blocks has resulted in closure orders being granted against two problem council owned properties which had become a hub for criminal activity.

This follows work undertaken by the Leeds Anti-Social Behaviour Team (LASBT) and partners including West Yorkshire Police and Housing Leeds to tackle both drug dealers and drug users, who were using certain flats along with other areas of Wortley Heights, Wortley Towers, Clyde Grange and Clyde Court as an unofficial base for their illegal activities. Issues reported including offenders using the drugs in the stairwells and chute rooms in some of the blocks and also regularly leaving behind drug taking apparatus including foil, spoons and blood stained wipes. Stairs also had to be cleared of both excrement and urine on a regular basis.

After collating evidence and speedily identifying both the offenders and problem properties where the drug taking and selling was taking place, LASBT was granted a Closure Order at Leeds Magistrates Court for 89 Wortley Heights on 16 April 2015. This order meant that the tenants had to leave the property within a certain timescale and no other person or persons other than those specified by the court will be able to enter the property. If breached, this carries a penalty of either imprisonment for a period of up to six months, an unlimited fine, or both.

Last week (11 May) LASBT was also granted a second Closure Order on 68 Clyde Grange. In this case, the tenant and her partner have been permitted to stay in their property under strict conditions; one of these being that they are prohibited from having any visitors to their property.

LASBT and other agencies including Housing Leeds have also met with tenants at each of the blocks to outline the action they had taken regarding this particular issue and to offer an ongoing commitment that any complaint they make regarding anti-social behaviour in the future will be properly addressed.

Any residents suffering from excessive and/or intrusive anti-social behaviour can get in touch with LASBT; to report in the daytime call 0113 222 4402 or out of hours on 0113 3950143 (between 6pm and 4am).

Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council’s executive board member with responsibility for Safer Leeds said:

"Nobody in our city should have to suffer in silence because of anti-social behaviour, and it is positive news that through the detailed evidence compiled by LASBT, we have been able to take action against those people who were making the lives of residents at these four high-rise blocks in west Leeds a misery.

"Not only did we have a situation where people were selling drugs from certain flats, certain individuals were also then taking the drugs inside the blocks and using the stairs as some kind of public toilet, which is disgusting and completely unacceptable.

"I hope the closure orders we have secured, along with the other work undertaken by LASBT and other agencies in these areas will serve as a real warning to anyone who thinks nothing will be done if they take part in similar activities. We will not sit idly by and they can be guaranteed that every power at our disposal will be used to stop this type of behaviour and ensure they also face tough penalties."

Superintendent Sam Millar, who heads Safer Leeds, said:

"The quality of life of local residents was being really badly affected by some appalling incidents of anti-social behaviour linked to these flats.

"By working in partnership we been able to take firm action to address the problems and we hope it will have a lasting impact on the situation.

"We will not tolerate behaviour that blights the lives of others, and this latest action should serve as a clear warning to those who refuse to listen to advice and persist in making peoples’ lives a misery."We will continue to monitor the situation in this area and take appropriate action to make sure these issues are not just displaced elsewhere."

Notes to editors:

As part of the LASBT re-launch last year, two mobile marked vehicles will also operate Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights from 6pm to 4am, with a reduced service being offered from Monday to Thursday, where one vehicle will be available. The vehicles will be staffed on Monday through to Thursday by Anti-Social Behaviour Response Officers with an enhanced service put in place on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday when calls are at their highest to meet an increased demand for service. From Friday to Sunday, when calls for service are at their highest, Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) will work alongside their colleagues from the anti-social behaviour response team to deal with noise related incidents.