Response officers to tackle anti-social behaviour in Headingley, Hyde Park, Burley and Woodhouse

Full-time response officers are set to be appointed to tackle anti-social behaviour and noise nuisance in Leeds' main student areas.

By Rebecca Marano
Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 12:11 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 4:08 pm

It comes after residents in Headingley, Hyde Park, Burley and Woodhouse called for a community forum to address anti-social behaviour in the area.

At the time, they raised specific concerns have been raised about noise, littering and disruptive behaviour.

Today, Leeds Beckett and the University of Leeds announced that they have provided additional funding to create a 'stronger' partnership between themselves, the student unions, Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Police.

A new 'stronger partnership' aims to tackle anti-social behaviour in Leeds' main student areas.

The partnership will focus on improving relationships between students and the wider community through a significant increase in investment and a range of new measures.

These measures include increased proactive work to discourage noise nuisance, anti-social behaviour and waste and environmental crimes such as littering and fly-tipping.

Enforcement capability will be increased when issues to arise.

Two full-time response officers will be dedicated to the area seven days a week, working from 5pm to 4am and proactively monitoring these concerns.

Two police community support officers (PCSOs) will continue to support response officers on Friday and Saturday night.

The Leeds Watch triage service also will have additional call handling capacity in place on Friday and Saturday.

The new measures are due to be in place by January, with existing arrangements continuing in the meantime.

Waste and environmental issues will also be a priority for the new partnership, it said.

It aims to tackle waste and environmental issues and encourage better waste reduction, recycling behaviours and the correct use of the refuse collection service – especially when students move between accommodation.

Leader of Leeds City Council, James Lewis, said: “We are a proud University city, being home to seven higher education institutions, and a student population of over 70,000.

"There are many positives that come from our university partners, including making significant contributions to the city’s economy, research and cultural life.

"We also recognise that some issues can arise in all communities with a student population, and this isn’t unique to Leeds.

"I welcome the funding that the Universities have made available and the opportunity to develop closer partnerships to reduce any negative impact for residents.

“All partners are committed to working together to improve community cohesion for all residents in inner north west Leeds, and on their behalf, I’d like to thank all the residents who have contributed feedback and helped in the development of these improved services.”

Vice chancellor of Leeds Beckett University, Professor Peter Slee, said: “Building and maintaining positive relations in the city is a priority for all the universities in Leeds and I’m pleased that we are able to strengthen the positive partnership arrangements we’ve developed over the last few years with Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Police.”

Vice chancellor of the University of Leeds, Professor Simone Buitendijk, added: “As a civic university, our community is at the heart of what we do and who we are.

"We welcome this opportunity to build on our longstanding partnership work to ensure Leeds is a safe, pleasant and inclusive place to live for all residents.”

The partnership will be supported by a new full-time community coordinator employed by Leeds City Council.

A new community relations post will also be appointed by Leeds Beckett University.

These new postholders will work with an existing community and student engagement officer at University of Leeds, and will engage regularly with community groups, landlords and Unipol, and other key stakeholders.

It is proposed that the partnership will meet each term with chairs of residents’ associations, and will put in place an improved process to give residents more information about their complaints.

They will also support access to a wide range of community opportunities.

Student unions at both Leeds Beckett and University of Leeds have been involved in the new partnership arrangements, and will support a programme of student engagement.

Leeds Beckett Student’s Union's union affairs officer, Pango Simwaka, said: "We’re pleased to be part of these enhanced partnership arrangements and keen to show that the vast majority of students in Leeds really value the welcome they have from the city, and are committed to making the most of their time in the city without any impact on others.”

Leeds University Union's union affairs and communications officer, Aysha Burton, said: "I am really keen that both students and local residents work together to create a community they can all be proud to live in.

"At LUU, we are launching sustainability initiatives such as our litter picking scheme, which involves student-run clubs and societies adopting and looking after streets where students live.”