Headingley Alleyway

#CampaignUpdate November 2020

I (Chris Dow, Vice President) met with the Councillor Al Garthwrite and Councillor Neil Walshaw last Monday to discuss the safter provisions for the Headingley Stadium Alleyway. The organisers from reclaim Headingley stadium alley had also met with them previously. Al Garthwrite has reassured us that they are working on installing CCTV in the alley and it is a priority for them to get this done as soon as possible. They also are having conversation with residences near the alleyway, asking them to cut back foliage to create more light on the path. We also discussed the implementation of cycling barriers at the beginning and end of the pathway to prevent quick getaways of attackers. This is a big step forward. The council are lovely and very keen to work with us collectively and individually.

Latest Update November 2020

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Council Response

Dear … Thank you for your email. I agree that a lot of harassment and worse goes unreported. Safety is a big concern and deserves all our attention. We do not want students to feel unsafe on our streets and are keen to do all that we can to prevent this. It would be good to meet to talk about this further. I would like to outline some of the initiatives we have put in place in Leeds so far and discuss what else might be done. For example, I established training for bar and club staff on recognising and dealing appropriately with reports and incidents of sexual harassment, partner abuse and child sexual exploitation, and extended this to the mandatory training programme for taxi and private hire drivers before they are licensed (the latter already had CSE but I had the rest added). The bar and club staff training has been on hold since March but is set to resume remotely. As a result of pressure, research into the incidence of sexual assault in the city centre was undertaken for the community safety partnership and that document is very interesting. When I last saw it, it was in draft so I shall find out whether it is now available. On-street harassment is being reported to police now, in tiny numbers compared to its incidence, but at least some women are reporting it and it is being taken seriously, although on the street the perpetrators are usually long gone by the time the report is made. There is more going on that I can describe, and we could also talk about the potential of misogyny being made a hate crime, which Stella Creasy MP is promoting, following the successful scheme run by the police in Nottingham. I think this could help a great deal. Ideally, I would like to meet in person, but that is not possible at the moment. Even remotely, it is likely to be difficult to find a time when all of us can get together, so I suggest that at the very least we arrange a meeting between yourselves and one councillor from each ward. If other councillors can then make the time and date, so much the better but if not, at least we can feed back to our colleagues. I would definitely like to meet. ... With all best wishes, Al Cllr Al Garthwaite - Headingley and Hyde Park Ward Councillor

Letter to Councillors

Letter to Councillors Dear Councillors, We are writing to you today in response to the tragic news of attacks on Student’s in Headingley last week. We appreciate the update on the ongoing work to keep the alleyway safe next the Headingley Stadium. The additions of CCTV are reassuring In light of the West Yorkshire Police statement that was released this morning, we feel as Student Representatives that it undermines the sheer number of harassments that is directed to both students and other local residences in this area. There is a danger that this statement could therefore diminish the importance for improved security in the area and create further damage for the relationship between students and the Police. Furthermore, the urgency of this issue goes beyond the fear of immediate attacks. Students are currently desperately trying to find a workable solution to Covid regulations. For example, having a walk at the end of the day to escape the constant online education inside. The fear of walking in the local community not only creates anxiety for young people but also it prevents a healthy work and life balance while they are at University. Therefore, we would like to work closely with Leeds City Council and the Social Behaviour Team to advocate for student safety across Leeds as we believe this will not be the last attack of this nature. Ultimately, the more student voice that is fed into these conversations the more representative the Councils subsequent actions will be. We are also keen to communicate these regular updates with students as they are growing more anxious by the day, especially with it becoming darker earlier. Let us know what your availability is like so we can meet and discuss the next steps. Kind Regards, On Behalf of Leeds Trinity Students' Union Leeds Beckett Students' Union University of Leeds Students' Union Leeds Art Students' Union

 

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