University of Leeds: Unique service to tackle anti-social behaviour and noise

A unique service tackling anti-social behaviour and noise in inner north-west Leeds launched this week, thanks to a unique partnership between the city’s two biggest universities and the city council.

The dedicated service is a national first, with the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University funding overnight patrols, seven days a week, by council response officers.

The officers will work exclusively on noise and anti-social behaviour issues across the Headingley, Hyde Park, Little Woodhouse and Burley areas. They will carry out patrols to identify and stop potential issues from escalating while also providing capacity to respond to more calls, more quickly. The partnership will provide additional call-handling capacity at weekends and during peak times throughout the year, including freshers’ week and at the end of exam/assessment periods.

In what is a significant investment by the universities, as well as a major commitment by the partnership to improve the communities, the service is supported by a new Community Coordinator to keep the service working and improving efficiently.

The partnership will monitor and regularly share updates on the performance and impact of the service, and hold termly meetings with residents’ association leaders.

This new venture builds upon the Leeds Universities and Colleges’ long-established Neighbourhood Helpline service and Enhanced Noise Service.

While universities make an incredibly positive contribution to Leeds’ culture and economy, we also recognise that some issues can arise in all communities with a student population.

Cllr James Lewis, Leeds City Council
Councillor James Lewis, Leader of Leeds City Council, said: “While universities make an incredibly positive contribution to Leeds’ culture and economy, we also recognise that some issues can arise in all communities with a student population.

“While these issues are not unique to Leeds, our response is. The dedicated service is a national first, building on years of partnership and listening to communities.”

We will continue to work together to deliver an enhanced programme of good citizenship activities to ensure our students play an active and positive role in community life.

Professor Simone Buitendijk, University of Leeds
Professor Simone Buitendijk, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, said: “Together with our other partners across the city, we recognise the significant impact that noise and anti-social behaviour can have in the communities in which our students live.

“The introduction of this dedicated service is an important step forward for our collective approach in preventing as well as responding to these issues. We will also continue to work together to deliver an enhanced programme of good citizenship activities to ensure our students play an active and positive role in community life.”

Leeds Beckett University Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Slee added: “Building and maintaining positive relations in the city is a priority for Leeds’ universities. We work with student unions, landlords, police and the council to support our students to live in diverse and vibrant residential communities.

“Leeds’ 70,000 students contribute significantly to the city’s economy and the majority play a positive role in their communities. This service recognises community concerns over the minority that behave inappropriately, and strengthens the partnership’s ability to respond to and deal with that behaviour.”

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