Packed Cross Gates meeting calls for action on community's anti-social behaviour problem

A Cross Gates meeting has called for more action to end the anti-social behaviour problem which is blighting the community.

Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 6:00 am
About 150 residents packed into the meeting to tackle anti-social behaviour in Cross Gates

An estimated 150 residents packed into the New Travellers Rest pub on Tuesday, January 28 to put their concerns to police, councillors and youth workers.

Katrina Slater and Sharon Glynn, who run Facebook group Crossgates Present, Past and Future, organised the meeting after being shocked by the reports of anti-social behaviour on the page.

There were 49 incidents shared on the group in just three months, including youths throwing stones at cars and taxis, smashing bus stop shelters, setting fire to bins and riding their bikes dangerously.

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Reports of anti-social behaviour include youths throwing stones at cars and taxis, smashing bus stop shelters, setting fire to bins

Local councillors, MP Richard Burgon, the Leeds Anti-Social Behaviour Team, youth workers and representatives of West Yorkshire Police attended the meeting and reassured residents that action was being taken.

The Leeds Anti-Social Behaviour Team said injunctions are used against 10 to 17 year-olds found to engage in anti-social behaviour, banning them from problem areas or from particular activities.

Rehabilitation strategies will also be tailored towards young offenders, and the team are working closely alongside schools and families to get to the root of the behaviour.

In a statement issued to residents at the meeting, the councillors for Killingbeck and Seacroft called for a joint approach between local services to tackle the problem.

It added: "This should involved the police, schools, the anti-social behaviour team, the youth service, residents, businesses and young people themselves."

The councillors praised the 'goodwill' of volunteers and community groups that work to make the area safe and encourage young people to engage in positive activities rather than 'drift' into anti-social behaviour.

Following the meeting, organiser Katrina Slater said: "People were standing in the entrance as they couldn't all fit in!

"The feedback I have received is all positive, lots of commendations for how well structured, presented and informative the meeting was which was lovely to hear.

"I think one of the biggest outcomes from the meeting was how much knowledge the community gained with regards to the work going on behind the scenes by West Yorkshire Police, the Leeds Anti-Social Behaviour Team and Youth Services.

"I do believe this went someway in reassuring the community that the relevant authorities are aware of the issues within the area and are actively working to reduce them."

Following the meeting, members of the Cross Gates Present, Past and Future group praised Katrina and Sharon's efforts to bring the community together.

Kath Esteva said: "We learned a lot from that meeting and will be attending future ones, it's the only way to understand how each team works with each other."

Another resident added: "I was totally in awe of how you managed to organise the ASB meeting last week.

"To get the community coming together to support each other and help build collective spirit is fantastic, strength to you and others who are working hard to improve our local environment."

Katrina has requested a follow-up meeting within four to six weeks and to receive regular updates from authorities involved in the meeting, so she can update members of the group.