On The Beat: Women’s safety, bike safety and knife crime

This month saw International Women’s Day on 8 March. As part of a focus on Women’s empowerment within the community, Sergeant Williams and Sergeant Jones attended a self-defence class in Holbeck Moor Park.

These classes are open to the public, and are focussed around increasing women’s confidence through self-defence. Violence against women and girls is a key priority for my team and for the wider Police Service.

Your Neighbourhood Policing Team are committed to creating safer spaces in the community, and supporting groups that make positive contributions towards women’s safety.

More information around International Women’s day can be found at www.international womensday.com. The theme this year was around breaking gender bias, and the website offers resources and other information aimed at celebrating women’s achievement, raising awareness against bias and taking action for equality.

Last month I briefly wrote about bike safety. Staff from your Neighbourhood Policing Team continued their bike safety initiative, where advice and resources were available for security and crime prevention, including free bike security marking. Officers and PCSOs from the team held an event at Leeds Urban Bike Park in Middleton, in partnership with Bike Register. These events represent a great opportunity for the team to be visible and available for members of the South Leeds Community. Please look out on our Social Media sites for information around future events.

One of the team’s PCSOs recently attended the Hunslet Youth Club to deliver a weapons and violence awareness workshop with local children. Steering children away from carrying a weapon and/or using violence is really important work, and pivotal in keeping children in the community safe.

Statistically, you remain more likely to be harmed by a weapon if you carry one yourself. My team carry out weapons sweeps in public areas such as play parks in order to recover any hidden weapons. I would always encourage anyone carrying a knife or other weapon to hand it in at a Police Station.

The local community will likely be aware of lots of operational policing presence in the Beeston and surrounding areas over the last few weeks, following reports of a firearms discharge. Please be assured that there has been a significant policing response in order to keep the local community safe. There has been an uplift in resources in the area to provide you with high visibility patrols for reassurance throughout the day and night.

Some members of the team are travelling to Northamptonshire Police to review their processes around exploitation of people within their own homes. This is sometimes referred to as Cuckooing, and can be a trigger for widespread Anti-Social Behaviour.

Indeed, the Leeds South community has experienced this kind of offending and subsequent ASB. My team are proactively improving the way in which we respond to this form of exploitation and the harm that it causes the wider community.

A final word from me around updates for victims of crime. This is always an area that the force is looking to improve upon. West Yorkshire Police have developed a Crime Tracker, which provides the chance to monitor your crime by direct access through the internet, twenty four hours a day.

The tracker can keep you updated with the status of the crime, and the details of the officer dealing with your case. It also allows for you to leave the officer a message in a contact form. The tracker is part of the force’s victim care and support programme, and something that I recommend for victims. The tracker is available via www.westyorkshire.police.uk/crimetracker.


This post was written by Insp Tom Perry, South Leeds Neighbourhood Policing Team

Photo: Sgt Williams joined a women’s self defence class on Holbeck Moor