Harehills bar rife with anti-social behaviour and knife crime closed by Leeds Council

A bar in Harehills which had become a "hub" for anti-social and criminal behaviour has been closed by Leeds City Council.

By Abbey Maclure
Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 12:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 12:06 pm

Shaftsbury Pool Centre on Harehills Lane is closed for a three-month period under review following a damning police report.

West Yorkshire Police said it was "only a matter of time" before there was a fatality at the venue after three stabbings in just four months.

Officers also raised serious concerns about security staff at the venue and their inability to control violent customers.

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There have been three stabbings at Shaftesbury Pool Centre in Harehills in just four months (Photo: Leeds Council)

The council's Leeds Anti-Social Behaviour Team (LASBT) and West Yorkshire Police have taken action at Leeds Magistrates Court and only agreed individuals will be allowed to access the property over the three-month closure.

Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member with responsibility for Safer Leeds, said: "The various types of anti-behaviour which we have seen at this pool centre in Harehills were completely and utterly unacceptable, which is why we took the decision to pursue and obtain this three-month closure order.

"I hope the steps that we have taken in this case will send out the clear message of what we are willing to do, if any premises or businesses become a focal point for anti-social behaviour, which will not be ignored.

"I would urge any resident living in any community of our city who is experiencing any form of anti-social behaviour, to please contact our dedicated LASBT team as soon as possible."

There have been three stabbings at Shaftsbury Pool Centre since July, all of which inflicted serious injuries.

On July 13, a victim was stabbed multiple times to the buttocks and the arm with a small, rusty coloured knife.

On October 27, a man was slashed with a large kitchen knife and two members of staff were arrested for obstructing police.

On November 9, two men were witnessed slashing at each other with knives on the street outside.

Chief Inspector Richard Padwell, of safer Leeds, said: "Our police licensing officers had already successfully applied to the council’s licensing committee for a summary review that saw the bar’s licence suspended last month due to the level of incidents at these premises, which included three stabbings in the space of just four months.

"There was still concern that the venue might continue to operate despite that suspension being in place so the police and council worked closely together to get the premises shut down immediately using anti-social behaviour powers.

"We hope this joint work will have a positive impact on the lives of residents in the area who have repeatedly had to suffer the consequences of a completely unacceptable level of crime and anti-social behaviour linked to these premises.

"This move should demonstrate very clearly the sort of action we can and will take to target venues that are linked to problems in our communities."