WITH A packed calendar of events and visitors flocking to enjoy the city’s nightlife, police in Leeds are expecting the August Bank Holiday to be one of their busiest of 2017.
The Leeds West Indian Carnival is likely to the biggest ever as organisers celebrate its 50th year, while thousands of music fans are enjoying Leeds Festival on the outskirts of the city.
And this year, there is also international cricket at Headingley adding sports fan to the mix of visitors and revellers.
Chief Superintendent Paul Money, Leeds District Commander, said the force was seeing high levels of demand on a weekly basis so careful planning has gone into ensuring they have the right resources to respond to any incidents.
“It’s hundreds of thousands of people, a transient population coming into the city centre on top of what we would ordinarily expect,” he said.
The big message to the public is go out and enjoy yourselves.Chief Supt Paul Money
“The big message to the public is go out and enjoy yourselves – but drink responsibly, look after each other and the policing operation will be there to allow you to have a great time.”
There have been none of the major issues with firearms or violence at the carnival in Chapeltown in recent years, but police are taking nothing for granted.
“There’s a lot of work in the run-up to the carnival and where we think there are risk individuals, they are engaged long beforehand,” Chf Supt Money said. “We try to time the policing activity to make sure this is the event that organisers want – a celebration of community life.”
It has meant sacrifices for officers though, who have seen request for leave restricted.
Chf Supt Money said: “We’re utilising every resource we’ve got to ensure we have the right level set against the threat. It’s about keeping people safe – that’s what we’re always about.”