Leeds ‘crime magnet’ shop ordered to close after mob attacked police

Wellington Stores, in Holdforth Place, had become a magnet for crime and anti-social behaviour.
Wellington Stores, in Holdforth Place, had become a magnet for crime and anti-social behaviour.

A shop which was at the centre of violent disorder on a Leeds housing estate last week has been ordered to close.

Up to 30 people were involved in an incident on the Holdforths Estate in New Wortley.

The closure order means the shop cannot trade for three months.

The closure order means the shop cannot trade for three months.

Windows were broken at property near Wellington Stores and police officers and their vehicles were pelted with bricks and bottles.

Today they said the local convenience store had become a magnet for crime and anti-social behaviour, with reports of drug dealing, drug use, theft, assaults and anti-social behaviour.

Police said the licensee appeared unable to keep order at the premises in Holdforth Place and residents reported being too frightened and intimidated to use it.

Following the disorder on July 13, a dispersal order had to be put in place and a number of people were arrested. Three have been charged with offences and are due to appear in court.

A multi-agency meeting was held and an action plan put in place to tackle the ongoing issues in the area.

West Yorkshire Police officers, based in Leeds Anti-Social Behaviour Team (LASBT), collected statements and evidence which demonstrated that the behaviour around the shop was having an extremely detrimental effect on the local community.

This evidence was used in an application for a Premises Closure Order under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, and the order was granted at Leeds Magistrates Court yesterday.

The order means the shop has had to cease trading for the next three months and has been closed and secured.

Inspector Simon Jessup, who heads neighbourhood policing in the area, said: “The behaviour we saw last week and over previous months has been completely unacceptable and has been having a really negative impact on the lives of residents. Despite a number of previous interventions by the police and council, the problems around the shop have persisted and we needed to put a lasting long-term solution in place.

“Securing this closure order has been a quick and effective response to the recent disorder and we hope it will have a positive impact on the local community who have had their lives blighted for too long.

“The order is just one part of the wider action plan and we will be looking to make further use of the available legislation against other properties and individuals. We remain committed to working alongside our partner agencies to do everything we can to tackle the issues and improve things for people living in the area.”

Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds city council’s executive member with responsibility for Safer Leeds, said: “I am pleased that by working closely with the police a closure order has been secured through the courts for this particular property that had become the venue for a range of anti-social behaviour.

“We will not accept this type of behaviour in any form, and I hope through action like this it will send out a clear message of the steps we are willing to take to put a stop to it. I would urge anyone who is experiencing anti-social behaviour to not suffer in silence, but to contact LASBT or the police as soon as possible.”

To report anti-social behaviour call your local neighbourhood policing team via 101 or Leeds Anti-Social Behaviour Team on 0113 222 4402.