Revealed: 10 streets with highest night-time crime rates in Leeds city centre

Police on patrol in Leeds city centre
Police on patrol in Leeds city centre
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Crime in Leeds’s most popular party district more than trebled in six years, figures show.

There were 778 recorded night-time offences on Call Lane in 2013 – up from 228 in 2008.

The street – home to a host of bars and nightclubs – has topped a list of the top 10 city centre streets with the highest overnight crime figures for the last three years.

Thefts and people being drunk and disorderly were the most common offences.

But businesses and police say city centre crime is now falling and insist the area is safe.

Matt Jones, who runs the Jones Bar Group operating several nightspots, said violent crime had dropped significantly and operators had funded extra police officers and worked hard to deter criminals.

“Of course Call Lane has the highest amount of recorded crimes, it’s the busiest street in Leeds with the highest footfall of people,” he said.

“Unfortunately there isn’t another street in the city centre that is a direct comparison to Call Lane.”

He added that people being careless with pricey belongings had seen an increase in “opportunistic thefts” and said there were problems with people falsely claiming lost or broken phones had been stolen.

“This is a frustration to us as they will name the last bar they were in and as an operator we have a crime recorded against us when a crime hasn’t taken place,” he said.

Mr Jones said it would be unfair to give Call Lane a “bad press”, adding: “A lot of independent business owners really are running their venues extremely well and professionally.”

Figures contained in a report to Leeds City Council’s licensing committee reveal Briggate had the second highest night-time crime levels last year, with 679.

The other eight were: Albion Street (566), The Headrow (369), Woodhouse Lane (322), Boar Lane (172), Hirst’s Yard/Duncan Street (158), Great George Street (136), Cookridge Street (134) and Kirkgate (126).

But Chief Insp Steve Palmer, Leeds city centre commander, said crime overall had fallen since last year.

“These reductions are very much down to the close working relationship we have with local licensees, door staff, the council and other key partner agencies who work alongside us,” he said.

“The figures do show an increase in night-time street robberies and on-street thefts. We have made a number of arrests in relation to some of those offences and will continue to proactively target the issue.

“The analysis gives a clear illustration of the parts of the city centre that see the most incidents and, not surprisingly, they are the areas that have the highest footfall and the highest concentrations of licensed premises.

“The mapping of these ‘hotspot’ areas helps to inform the approach we are taking in partnership with other agencies to reduce the number of offences and keep people safe in the night-time economy.”

Sean Walker, of Business Against Crime in Leeds, said: “Our latest figures, which run up until the beginning of November, show that overall incidents of violent crime and theft in Leeds City Centre and Crown Point Retail Park – both day and night – are down by 18 per cent over the course of 2014.”

He added: “We cannot comment on specific streets or venues, but rest assured we are continually working alongside the police and Leeds City Council, to reduce incidents of crime and make the city centre a safer place for people to live, work and play.

“For example, at the moment we have taken on a team of day and night time street marshals, wearing high visibility jackets, who are patrolling known hot-spots in the busy run up to Christmas.”