Hundreds of people have signed a petition calling for the closure of a bail house over claims it has made residents’ lives a misery.
Occupants of the property on High Street in Morley – who include ex-offenders and those facing criminal charges – have been accused of a catalogue of disturbing incidents including:
Urinating and defacating in gardens
Committing lewd acts in public
Playing loud music throughout the night
Damaging the properties of people who complain
One especially alarming claim relates to an allegation residents attempted to lure a nine-year-old girl into the property with sweets.
Now more than 400 people have signed an online petition calling for it to be closed.
Nicola Hudson, who set up the petition, said: “Our concerns have not been appreciated or dealt with, with the urgency required, when the wellbeing and safety of our residents, including young children and the elderly is in question.”
Morley South councillor Neil Dawson, who raised the issue at a meeting of full council yesterday, said: “People who work hard, cause no trouble and try to do the right thing are now reduced to trying to sneak into their own homes to avoid the attentions of those living in the bail house.”
The property, which is currently empty, is run by the government-funded Bail Accommodation and Support Service.
A spokesman said: “We don’t tolerate anti-social behaviour and we’ll always take appropriate action. We held a meeting last week with local councillors and the police to discuss concerns and we’ll meet with them again at the end of July.
“We’ve agreed to install new fencing to the garden to provide neighbours with more privacy and we’ll also carpet the property to soften the sound of people indoors.
“Our house and clients are regularly visited and all close neighbours have been provided with our contact details if they experience any problems. If neighbours witness illegal behaviour they should always report it to the police as well as to us.”
Superintendent Sam Millar, who heads the city’s community safety partnership Safer Leeds, said: “We are committed to doing all we can to tackle anti-social behaviour that impacts on people’s quality of life.
“Officers from the local neighbourhood policing team and Leeds Anti-Social Behaviour Team have been working closely with local residents, councillors and the service provider to address the understandable concerns that have been raised about incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour around this accommodation.
“The accommodation is currently unoccupied and we are working to agree longer term measures that will help to avoid any further issues around the future use of the premises.”