23 Dec 2021
Partial Closure Order granted to tackle the sale of knives linked to serious gang activity and violent crime
Leeds City Council Anti-Social Behaviour Team (LASBT) in partnership with West Yorkshire Police (WYP) have secured a Partial Closure Order against Fantasia store, located in Ludgate Hill.
The order forms part of a wider joint operation supporting ongoing work to tackle knife crime involving young people across Leeds.
Action against the store was initiated following police intelligence reports, indicating weapons bought from the shop had been involved in recent violent incidents across Leeds and West Yorkshire.
LASBT sought to secure the Partial Closure Order following the successful execution of a police search warrant under the Knives Act 1997 on the store, after repeated unsuccessful attempts to contact the business and reach a satisfactory solution in relation to the sale of knives on premises.
The Partial Closure Order was granted in Leeds Magistrates Court order on Tuesday 22 December, under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014, blocking the store from selling combat style knives for eight weeks.
During the eight weeks LASBT and WYP will look to work with the store to ensure that their marketing of knives for sale confirms with the legal requirements set out in the Knives Act 1998. The council retains the right to apply to extend the Partial Closure Order if no satisfactory agreement is met with the store.
Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s deputy leader with responsibility for Safer Leeds, said: “Knife crime is a blight on our communities, and we will continue to work with partners across our city to take robust action to prevent it.
“No one should be marketing knives as combat weapons, so I very much welcome the introduction of the Partial Closure Order which will give the opportunity for council teams to work with the store to ensure they understand their responsibilities when it comes to the sale of knives.
“Tackling knife crime is a key priority for Safer Leeds and we will continue to work with our partner agencies and West Yorkshire Police to keep knives off our streets.”
Chief Inspector Kev Pickles, who heads neighbourhood policing for Leeds District, said: “Securing this Partial Closure Order, specifically in relation to the sale of combat style knives, is an excellent result for our communities and a significant positive step in our ongoing work to tackle knife crime.
“We have seen a number of serious assaults where these types of weapons have been used to cause some horrific injuries, mostly to young teenage males.
“We know this is an issue that causes understandable concern, and we will be continuing to tackle it alongside our partner agencies to reduce harm to our young people and keep our communities safe.”
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