MP speaks out over Leeds street drinking after online picture re-ignites debate

8 Jan 2016.....MP Rachel Reeves and Cllr Alison Lowe on Armley Town Street discuss how tackle street drinking issues amid claims it has become a booze fuelled 'no go zone' for locals. Picture Scott Merrylees
8 Jan 2016.....MP Rachel Reeves and Cllr Alison Lowe on Armley Town Street discuss how tackle street drinking issues amid claims it has become a booze fuelled 'no go zone' for locals. Picture Scott Merrylees
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A Leeds MP has spoken out after concerns over street drinking in Leeds were re-ignited by a picture posted online of people in a debauched state.

The two men were photographed on Town Street in Aramley on Tuesday (Sept 5) by David Mullan, lying on the pavement in a drunken stupor.

He said: “I’m disgusted – it’s never been as bad as this and I’ve lived in Armley my whole life.”

The picture caused a heated debate among YEP readers.

Drinking on Town Street has been banned and various measures – including a restriction on new shops which plan to sell alcohol – have been put in place to try and curb it.

Leeds West MP for Labour, Rachel Reeves, said many people felt the same as Mr Mullan.

The men pictured on Armley Town Street. Picture by resident David Mullan.

The men pictured on Armley Town Street. Picture by resident David Mullan.

She said: “There are lots of positives about Armley Town Street but they are let down and we are let down in the community by a few individuals who think this behaviour – drinking in the street and drinking so much they pass out – is acceptable and it’s not. I’m determined we take back Armley Town Street for people so they can enjoy their local community.”

Ms Reeves called for a “zero-tolerance policy” and partly blamed the street’s many off licences for serving drunk customers.

She stressed that there are many good things about Town Street, including its recent festival.

Sergeant Chris Craven, of the Inner West Neighbourhood Policing Team, said that police had spotted the pictured men on CCTV.

He said: “One was arrested and subsequently charged with being drunk and disorderly in a public place. He was given bail conditions that include an exclusion zone of Armley preventing him entering the area.

“The other man needed medical treatment but was later reported for summons to attend court.”

Sgt Craven said that there had been an increase in anti-social behaviour on Town Street in the last two months and officers would be “stepping up” their work.

But he said enforcement cannot be used alone, and work with other agencies would continue to find “longer-term solutions”.

The car which caught fire. Photo: West Yorkshire Police

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