Call for action after car park crime spree

The latest incident at Station Gardens car park saw this car flippped over.
The latest incident at Station Gardens car park saw this car flippped over.

Wetherby residents have called for urgent action following a spike in vandalism attacks in a remote car park at the rear of their property.

The latest incident at Station Gardens on Sunday involved a car being tipped onto its side and propped up using fence posts that were recently installed in an attempt to improve the site.

Campaigners say the crime spree stretches back 18 months, with cars being burnt out and repeatedly vandalised, nearby houses being burgled and strangers hanging around the area.

Fed-up residents are now urging Leeds City Council to install CCTV cameras and lighting as part of a long term solution to the problem.

The angry owner of the vandalised car, Tony Jordon, of Station Gardens, who has written to Wetherby’s MP Alec Shelbrooke, said: “I have had two cars within two months vandalised and my house has also been burgled.

“It’s constant and ongoing. Whoever is doing it has clearly realised this is an area that is quiet and not covered with lighting and is therefore easy pickings. They return and do it again because it’s easy to get away with it.

“Given we pay high rates to live in such a sought after area surely this cannot be allowed to continue any longer without the ‘direct support and involvement of the local authorities’ in whom we place our rates and indeed our trust.

“All we need is some lighting and some CCTV and it will make a major difference. It’s been going on for far too long now and something needs to be done about it.”

Fellow resident Robert Ingles is also demanding the council takes urgent action.

He said: “I moved to Wetherby from Rochdale thinking it would be a nice place to live. After seven years in Rochdale my property has never been touched. I have been here for seven months now and feel I have moved to the crime capital of the world.”

Listing a number of incidents, including his car being vandalised and witnessing drug taking, he added: “Residents, many of which are elderly, now have a fear of going into the car park and I am concerned that people who park there in the dark are going to be attacked.

“Leeds City Council has made some improvements after residents complained, but it seems to have come to a halt.

“There is still no lighting or CCTV, which would stop the crime. It’s the worst crime I have ever experienced and I’m ex-military so you can imagine some of the things I have seen and at the moment it’s like a scene from Beirut.”

A Leeds City Council spokeswoman said: “Initial works to improve the area have been completed. We’re working with our street lighting contractor to schedule a date for the installation of lights and the costs for CCTV are being reviewed.”