04 Jun 2024

New restrictions aim to curb anti-social behaviour in Leeds tower blocks

Housing Anti-social behaviour

New court orders restricting access to more than a dozen tower blocks have underlined Leeds City Council’s steadfast commitment to tackling anti-social behaviour and creating safer communities.

Covering a total of 15 blocks of flats in Leeds’s Burmantofts and Richmond Hill ward, the partial closure orders were granted by magistrates after a joint council and police team gathered evidence of drug dealing and other unlawful activity linked to the buildings.

The orders mean only residents and authorised visitors – including friends, relatives and tradespeople – are allowed in communal areas such as foyers, landings, storage spaces, stairwells and lifts.

Entering these areas without permission is now an arrestable offence, which it is hoped will drive away criminals who might otherwise have sought to use them to gain a foothold in the high-rise blocks.

It is also hoped that the threat of arrest will act as a deterrent to youths who have previously alarmed residents by congregating in the communal areas and causing a nuisance.

The orders are in place for an initial three-month period, with an option to apply to extend them for an additional three months.

The flats covered by the restrictions are Ferriby Towers, Lincoln Towers, Lindsey Mount, Spalding Towers, Naseby Grange, Boston Towers, Cherry Court, Grantham Towers, Marston Mount, Shakespeare Court, Shakespeare Towers and Shakespeare Grange, plus all three blocks at Cromwell Heights.

The orders were granted at the start of May and the early feedback from residents has been positive.

Responding to a police survey, one resident in Cromwell Heights said: “I haven’t seen people coming and going recently, which has been better.”

Another resident in Cromwell Heights said: “People aren’t hanging around here anymore, it’s much quieter.”

A resident living in the Shakespeare Court, Shakespeare Towers and Shakespeare Grange complex, meanwhile, said: “The teenage boys have all gone and there has been less damage. It’s been a lot better.”

The joint council and police team – called Team Leodis, after an historic name for Leeds – turned its focus on Burmantofts and Richmond Hill after concerns about unauthorised visitors to a number of tower blocks were raised by residents.

Team Leodis primarily comprises serving West Yorkshire Police officers who have specialist knowledge of court orders, injunctions and similar means of preventing crime.

Working with the support of housing, legal and other council staff, they have achieved successful results in areas such as Holbeck, Holt Park, Seacroft and now Burmantofts and Richmond Hill.

Councillor Mary Harland, Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities, customer service and community safety, said:

“We are determined to ensure Leeds is a place filled with communities that are welcoming, inclusive and, above all else, safe. It’s really encouraging, therefore, to see the impact that the new court orders are already having on people’s lives.

“No one should ever be in a position where they feel worried about opening their door or getting into a lift, and the measures introduced across these 15 tower blocks will hopefully mean greater peace of mind for local residents.

“The court orders are also a great example of the power of collaborative working and we’re extremely grateful to West Yorkshire Police for their support and expertise.

“The work of Team Leodis is very much ongoing, with police and council staff looking to achieve similarly effective results in other parts of the city.”

Inspector Alastair Nicholls, of West Yorkshire Police’s Leeds East Neighbourhood Policing Team, said:

“A substantial amount of partnership work has been ongoing with Leeds City Council as part of our joint Team Leodis initiative to use all the tools at our disposal, including court powers, to curb anti-social behaviour.

“We believe these partial closure orders will have a positive effect on residents’ quality of life by putting a barrier in place to persons congregating and potentially offending in communal areas.

“The orders will be enforced by the Leeds East Neighbourhood Policing Team and could result in persons being arrested if they are in breach of them.

“We do of course continue to monitor the flats with partners and will take action against persons who breach these new orders or commit any other offending which affects the quality of life of residents.”

Anyone with concerns about anti-social behaviour in their community can make a report via the council’s website or by calling 0113 222 4402.


For media enquiries contact:

Leeds City Council Communications team