YEP Says, December 13: Improving picture of night-time crime lies behind the statistics

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...and we’re on the right road to securing Tour legacy

ON first sight, the crime figures for Call Lane make for grim reading.

The most crime-ridden street in Leeds, night-time offences there have more than trebled in the last six years.

There were 778 recorded crimes on Call Lane between 6pm and 6am – up from 228 in 2008.

But a bit of context is needed here. As the busiest street in the city with the highest footfall of people and concentration of bars, it would a shock if Call Lane didn’t record crime statistics to match.

The good news is that violent crime has significantly decreased, which police put down to a close working relationship with licensees, door staff and others.

Where there has been a stark increase is in thefts, but a large part of this can be put down to the fact that those visiting premises in Call Lane are more likely to carry the latest smart phones which are a magnet for opportunists.

While it’s clear that more work needs to be done, there are also signs that a street that in the past has seen more than its fair share of unsavoury incidents is becoming a safer place to go.

Policing costs will always be an issue – but these must be set aside what venues on Call Lane bring into the city in terms of business rates, jobs and attracting visitors into Leeds. Not to mention giving natives a vibrant environment in which to let their hair down.

On the right road to securing Tour legacy

THE long-term success of this summer’s staging of the Tour de France will be measured by how many people, particularly youngsters, it encourages to take up cycling.

So the fact that the country’s first ever network of bike libraries has been launched in Yorkshire could prove an important step – or should that be pedal? – in the right direction.

Every parent knows that children grow out of bikes extremely quickly and it can prove an expensive business. The library will mean every child can borrow a bike and see if they like the sport. It has the potential to keep the legacy of the Tour alive for generations.

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