Families "scared to raise children" in Harehills Road after serious stabbing

Families have revealed that they are too "scared to raise children" after a serious stabbing in Harehills Road which left a man in critical condition.

By Rebecca Marano
Friday, 3rd May 2019, 1:39 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd May 2019, 1:46 pm
Harehills Road closed off after fight left stab victim in critical condition
Harehills Road closed off after fight left stab victim in critical condition

Police were called to the scene of at the junction of Bayswater Mount at about 2.40am on Friday, April 3.

A number of people were involved in the fight and a 38-year-old man was found with serious stab wounds to his stomach.

He was rushed to the hospital for emergency treatment.

Harehills Road closed off after fight left stab victim in critical condition

The man remains in a critical condition.

A police scene remained in place for forensic examination and searches.

Enquires into the incident are ongoing.

-> Harehills Road closed after man stabbed during large fight - LIVE updatesNeighbours were woken up by the police knocking at their doors at 4am that morning, according to people who live close to the scene of the crime.

Harehills Road closed off after fight left stab victim in critical condition.

Several residents said they did not feel surprised by the violent incident.

One resident who did not want to be named said: "This is the second time that I know of this happening.

"I am not surprised that it's happened here again to be honest. These days the area is crowded and noisy and big groups of teenage boys sit outside of the shops in the area drinking."

The father-of-one also added that he was scared and reluctant to raise a family in the area.

He added: "I have a three-year-old daughter and once she's old enough to go out and walk around alone then we will move away from here.

"It wasn't like this a few years ago when I moved here. the trouble used to be over Chapeltown way but it has now spread here."

One shopkeeper, who didn't wish to be named, said he would lose bank holiday business because of the incident.

Rhsorav Rasouli, who owns Phone For All on Harehills Road, said he is "scared" because of the violence in the area.

Mr Rasouli said: "It is not good for business, I have to pay rent still every day.

"I am not surprised, this area every single day there's a problem - fighting, robbery, drug dealing. Every single day this road has a problem.

"Every single day there is a problem in this area, it's easy for them to rob, fight, even killings.

"Yes it does scare me, but this is where my business is, what can I do, where can I go. I have been here for five years and the problem has increased over the last five years. I see drug dealers selling on the road."

"We need action, people need to banned and stopped from coming back to this area."

Gipton councillor, Salma Arif, said: "Of course residents are concerned when something like this happens. It's not good and very disappointing.

"I want to assure residents that although unfortunately incidents like this happen, in Gipton and Harehills we have a really active police presence and we are one of the wards with the most PCSOs.

"We will keep an eye out but the investigation is in its early stages. However, it does appear to be an isolated incident."

Coun Arif added: "Harehills sometimes gets a bad rep. I was born and raised here and yes it is a deprived area and has its challenges but we have a good team on the ground.

"There are plenty of families and young people that pride themselves on living in Harehills.

"Despite all its challenges, Harehills is a resilient community with people from all walks of life "

"Seizure of drugs and cash"

Inspector Mick Preston, who heads neighbourhood policing in east Leeds, acknowledged the community concern following the stabbing and wants to reassure local residents that police are doing everything they can to keep them informed about the progress of the investigation.

Insp Preston said: "We appreciate that an incident of this nature will heighten people’s focus on crime in the area and have an impact on their general feelings of safety.

“I am very keen to reassure people about the range of proactive work we have been doing and will continue to do to address the issues that can affect people’s lives in Harehills.

“My team regularly responds to reports of people selling drugs and has executed numerous drugs warrants in the area that have resulted in the seizure of drugs and cash and the arrest of the suspects involved.

“We have also worked closely with our partners in the local authority making full use of anti-social behaviour legislation to shut down properties that have been linked to drug dealing.

“We continue to support the work of the district and the force’s specialist teams who target individuals involved in organised crime and the associated criminal use of firearms, which is still thankfully rare. Their work has recently seen a number of key individuals sentenced to significant prison terms and firearms taken off the streets."

-> Yorkshire pensioner accused of fatally shooting boy, 6, with an air rifle appears in courtInsp Preston added that the police are working with the council and other partner organisations to engage with young people and deter them from crime and anti-social behaviour.

He added: "We remain absolutely determined not to let a small number of people who involve themselves in crime spoil all the positive work that is going on in Harehills and we are sure the majority of the community will support us in that aim.”

Police are appealing for anyone with information about the incident to contact Leeds District CID quoting log 109 of May 3.