Leeds councillor condemns 'abhorrent' Halton Moor violence as police step up patrols for third night

A Leeds councillor has condemned the "abhorrent" lawless violence seen in Halton Moor this weekend as police step up patrols for a third consecutive night.

Monday, 9th November 2020, 4:41 pm

Police were attacked with bricks and cars set on fire during two nights of chaos on the Ullswater Crescent estate.

Gangs of youths damaged private property, threw objects at officers and damaged police vans on Saturday and Sunday night.

Riot police were deployed to the area to disperse the group and make arrests.

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A police van was set on fire in Halton Moor in September 2019 (pictured) and this weekend saw violent behaviour on the same estate

Leeds City Council's deputy leader and councillor for Temple Newsam, Debra Coupar, has condemned the "ridiculous behaviour" as she confirmed extra police officers and council resources will be deployed to the area tonight.

She said police patrols will continue on the estate for "as long as there is a threat" to officers and members of the community.

Cllr Coupar said: "Halton Moor is a good community area and there are so many law-abiding citizens living on that estate that have had to suffer this ridiculous behaviour by a small number of individuals, which has brought the area's name into disrepute.

"We've had extra police and council resources in the area for the last couple of days and this will continue for the foreseeable future.

"As long as we see that there is a threat, we'll be there with our partners to ensure this is dealt with in an appropriate way."

Cllr Coupar said there is not believed to be a particular trigger for the violence in Halton Moor over the weekend, where riot police were attacked in the same location in September 2019.

She said the cancellation of diversionary activities for young people on Halloween and Bonfire Night may have been a factor, leading to more young people out on the street.

"But that is not to condone any of the illegal and criminal behaviour," Cllr Coupar added.

"It's absolutely abhorrent to me what happened in both incidents. I want the most robust action taken against those individuals that took part."

Two men, aged 18 and 48 , have been arrested on suspicion of violent disorder in connection with the incidents.

A 14-year-old boy has also been arrested on suspicion of violent disorder.

Enquiries are ongoing to identify further suspects.

Detectives from Leeds District CID are carrying out a comprehensive investigation of the weekend’s incident, which includes a full analysis of all available CCTV and footage from officers’ body-worn cameras.

Chief Superintendent Damien Miller, Leeds District Commander, said this morning: “The behaviour witnessed in this part of Halton Moor over the weekend was truly disgraceful, and I know the majority of the community will be as appalled as we are about what occurred.

“We recognise the understandable concerns that these incidents will have caused to people living there, and officers will be maintaining a visible presence in the area over the coming days to reassure the community.

“At the same time, detectives are carrying out detailed and comprehensive enquiries to identify those involved in these incidents so they can be subject to robust action that sends a very clear message about how unacceptable behaviour such as this is.

“We know that Halton Moor is somewhere with a strong identity and strong sense of community spirit and we will be continuing to work alongside community representatives and our partner agencies, particularly the local authority and local elected members, to see that it remains a safe place.

“I would also encourage anyone in the community who has information that could assist the investigation to support our work and pass that on.”

Anyone with information, particularly any relevant mobile phone or dashcam footage, is asked to contact Leeds District CID via 101 quoting Operation Digpark reference 13200559871 or online via www.westyorkshire.police.uk/101livechatInformation can also be given anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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