Gangs misusing fireworks targeted by Leeds injunction

Published
The disturbance
Image caption,
Six officers were injured on 5 November by people throwing fireworks and setting bins alight

A city-wide injunction to stop people using fireworks "in an anti-social manner" or gathering in certain parks at night is being sought by a council.

In November 2019, six police officers were injured when they were targeted by groups throwing fireworks and setting bins alight in Leeds.

Dozens of officers in riot gear were sent to the Harehills area when the disturbance broke out.

The council and police want legal powers to stop it happening again.

After the disorder on 5 November last year, 15 "local males" aged between 11 and 23 were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder.

The city council and West Yorkshire Police are applying for an injunction to ban the misuse of fireworks and to prevent more than three people gathering in three named parks after 18:00 until 07:00 the following morning.

The parks are Banstead in Harehills, Alexandra Park in Burley and Pudsey Park.

If granted, the injunction would come into force on 28 August and run until 30 January 2021.

Anyone breaching it would be liable to be arrested.

The court application says that being in a group of three or more in any public place and using fireworks "or other explosive or pyrotechnic material within Leeds Metropolitan area in an anti-social manner" would be an offence.

Image caption,
High visibility patrols were deployed in the area as police worked to quell the disturbances

Included in the application is the prohibition of "erecting or attempting to erect any unauthorised barrier to any thoroughfare within the Leeds metropolitan district".

Last November, gangs put wheelie bins on to a road in the Harehills area and set them on fire.

Councillor Debra Coupar, who is responsible for communities in the city, said: "As part of continued work with partners to tackle anti-social behaviour in our communities, we are now taking further steps through the courts to combat the deliberate and dangerous misuse of fireworks."

Image caption,
Banstead Park in Harehills is one of the parks included on the list

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