Police have announced a new plan to tackle anti-social firework-related behaviour in the area of Leeds, Burley.
Anyone caught carrying/throwing fireworks, or wearing a mask that disguises their identity in a popular firework area, could be arrested by the police.
Speaking of firework-related incidents, West Yorkshire Police say that they have “plagued” the Burley area of Leeds over the last few years.
“Over the bonfire night period in recent years, residents have had their lives made a misery by large groups letting off fireworks, aiming them at people, homes, cars and the emergency services.”Statement from West Yorkshire Police
They added that recently “groups of up to 50 youths were involved in anti-social behaviour, including barricading roads, with many of those involved wearing masks, making them hard to identify.”
An injunction, that would have to be applied for through Leeds County Court, would create an exclusion zone in Burley.
This would mean that for police covering the area, it would be forbidden to be in possession of fireworks, disguise your identity, congregate in a group of three or more, or behave in a manner that is threatening or abusive.
Inspector Andy Loftus said “for weeks and months, these streets have become the setting for a completely unacceptable level of behaviour which has a negative impact on the quality of life of people living there.”
“This injunction, if granted,” he continues, “will give us much-needed additional powers to intervene at an early stage and prevent incidents before they occur.”
Fireworks are a common problem around Leeds, especially in student areas such as Hyde Park and Burley, and also not just around this time of year.
Resident of Hyde Park and University of Leeds Sports Science student, Ella Spencer, said that the loud and excessive fireworks “regularly disrupt her studies on an evening”, and “pose a danger to others” when used irresponsibly.
The injunction comes in the week before Bonfire Night festivities on Woodhouse Moor on 5th November. On Bonfire Night last year, there were reports of fireworks being fired into the crowd.
Last year, a blind woman was left distressed after she was targeted with fireworks and her guide dog by a group of youths in Hyde Park, Leeds.