Police could 'bear the brunt of strikes and protests' this summer, claims senior officer
Demand for police help on weekends in Leeds has reached record levels, a senior officer has suggested.
Chief Inspector Pete Hall, of West Yorkshire Police, said the force was likely to “bear the brunt” of protests and strikes over the summer.
Serious youth violence and hate crime have risen sharply, a Leeds City Council meeting on Wednesday was told, while officers are also busy tackling engine-revving motorbike riders who are causing misery in communities.
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Figures for anti-social behaviour across the region have fallen, but this has been attributed to a change in the way types of crime are reported.
Speaking at a Leeds housing and communities scrutiny meeting on Thursday morning, Chief Inspector Hall said: “Demand has probably increased and over the weekend it’s probably at levels we’ve never seen before. That’s for all our services.
“We’ll probably have a busy summer. We’ve got price increases, protests, people striking and we’ll probably bear the brunt of that.
“But we’ll continue to problem-solve and and find better ways of problem-solving.”
The meeting was told that 3,500 calls were made to the city’s police about anti-social behaviour on motorbikes last year, while more than 600 motorbikes were stolen in east Leeds alone.
As previously reported by the LDRS, police in Leeds are trying to secure more resources from central government to address the problem.
Inspector Hall said: “It’s one of the council’s biggest issues as well, because someone driving a motorbike around on an estate really does affect community confidence.
“I’ve invested in another sergeant, with a focus on taking bikes off people.
“We won’t be giving them back. I’d be very disappointed if we ever did give a bike back beacuse the majority of them are either stolen or used in an anti-social way.
Inspector Hall added: “It’s difficult with our powers because quite rightly, we can’t knock them off their bikes.
“So you have to use tactics such as intelligence and going to addresses when they’re parked outside or catching them when they’re parked up. We’ve had some success with this recently.
“It’s one of my main priorities and something that’s raised in every community meeting I go to.”