Harrogate Borough Council has been working alongside partners to tackle ongoing issues of antisocial behaviour and community concerns in the Bower Street area of Harrogate town centre. This has included regular police patrols and the targeting of individuals who cause harassment, alarm and distress.
In addition to the targeted activity the council has facilitated negotiations with private owners including landlords and Leeds Federated Housing Association to make the area more secure and have now reached an agreement to install railings to premises on the parade of shops to reduce access. These areas have consistently been used as a location where people congregate and where there is evidence of repeat antisocial behaviour. As the land is privately owned negotiations have taken longer than hoped however this work will look to be progressed as a priority with partners continuing to work alongside the council.
The community are asked to report incidents direct to North Yorkshire police via 101 or the online reporting tool – https://www.northyorkshire.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/
Richard Cooper, leader of the council, (pictured) said “All of us who live or work near this location know that it has been trouble for a long time. While the council has worked with the police on the issues the land is privately owned and installing secure boundaries is the responsibility of the property owner. Nonetheless, the council and other partners recognise the impact that antisocial behaviour and criminal activity has on the quality of life of residents, businesses and the wider community. That is why we have offered to help the property owners secure their boundaries and I am glad agreement has been reached on how to do this. I am grateful to the property owners for working with us on this.
“We must though recognise that the people who congregate in these areas often have complex physical and mental health needs. They often suffer from family breakdown and addiction. When criminal acts are committed the legal process needs to happen. But we also need to redouble our efforts to support agencies like Harrogate Homeless Project and Harrogate StreetAid who can provide the wrap-around support enabling people to break out of chaotic lifestyles. Securing this area will solve the anti-social and criminal behaviour problem at this location. It will not, on its own, change the lifestyles of those who congregated on Bower Street. Long-term dedicated support is the only way to do that.”