Wortley residents complain of 'criminal gang' targeting area as Leeds security firm offers free patrols

A Leeds-based security firm has offered to provide free nightly patrols in response to residents' concerns of a "criminal gang" operating in the area.

Friday, 5th February 2021, 4:45 pm
Servo Group are offering free nightly patrols in the Wortley area

Servo Group is offering to add parts of Wortley to its nightly security patrols - free of charge.

The firm said that LS12 residents, specifically on the Saxted Estate, had complained of a number of attempted vehicle thefts and burglaries in recent weeks.

Servo Group said: "Local residents are concerned after reports of a criminal gang trying doors and vehicles and a number of thefts including equipment from nearby Christchurch Primary School."

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Police say that while they are aware of some incidents in the Wortley area, crimes involving thefts and burglaries specifically in this area have decreased "substantially" in recent months.

But Servo Group said its vans will be driving around the area as a safety measure and the security provider has warned residents to take extra precautions with their homes and vehicles.

Glen Crosthwaite from Servo said: “We’ve been made aware that there is a group in the area, who are trying to get into vehicles and gain access to homes on the Saxted estate and surrounding streets.

"We want to urge people to take extra care – don’t leave possessions on show in cars, use security lights at night where possible and keep an eye out for each other.

"We’ve stepped up our patrols in the area to combat the problem so if people see a Servo van driving around through the night, be aware that it’s part of a security patrol."

Servo Group said that "although burglaries and vehicle crime in Leeds were down by as much as 20 per cent at the start of the last lockdown, rates started to rise again and Farnley and Wortley has a burglary rate of 212 crimes per 1000 people which is above the national average."

Glen Crosthwaite added: "As burglary rates start to rise again, Servo want to do our bit to improve safety in our local communities.

"We know the residents of this area are concerned about these attempted break-ins at a time that’s worrying enough for everyone already.

"It’s especially important to be vigilant though if you live in Wortley, take every available security measure on houses and vehicles and look out for your neighbours.”

West Yorkshire Police say they are not aware of anything that suggests that Wortley is experiencing particularly high levels of crime in recent months.

Inspector Phil Gill, who heads the Leeds West Neighbourhood Policing Team, said neighbourhood officers regularly patrol areas that are highlighted as having particular issues through crime pattern analysis.

Inspector Gill said: “While there will be incidents in the Wortley area that people may be referring to, we’re not aware of anything that suggests the area is experiencing any particularly heightened levels of crime recently.

"In fact, figures show a substantial decrease in acquisitive crime in the area in recent months.

“We always encourage people to report any offences or suspicious incidents so we can respond accordingly and put plans in place to identify and arrest those responsible and prevent further offences.

“Neighbourhood officers regularly patrol those areas that are highlighted through crime pattern analysis as having particular issues, and continue to work closely with colleagues in other specialist departments who proactively target offenders, particularly around burglary and vehicle crime.”