has been my home for many years now and I've seen the place change
until the 1970s it was a pleasant place to live, there was a real
community spirit and little in the way of crime.
then the area has, for many reasons, fallen into a state of near
anarchy and sqalour. Key factors which fuel its continuing decay
are in urgent need of addressing to halt a further fall.
"Nearly all the homes here are rented so few people now own
where they live. This means the population is pretty transient and
few are actually responsible or concerned with the upkeep of their
landlords do little to maintain the properties they own, prefering
only to cream cash from the council by charging ludicrously high
rents for squalid homes which only those trapped on benefits would
"These tennants obviously don't want to improve the houses
themselves (how could they afford to?), so these properties just
gradually become unsightly making the area more unpleasant to live
outcome of this is that landlords, desperate to rent their houses
to anyone, take on people who would find it impossible to get higher
Harehills ends up with an increased population of difficult tennants
such as drug addicts, dysfuntional families and other socially 'challenging'
Council does little to repair, improve or invest in the area, probably
because few complain.
"Most of the people living here feel ignored and despondent,
making them unlikely to gripe about the conditions as vocally as
perhaps people in a more middle class area would.
also a high percentage of people who speak little English, so these
people are even less likely to pressure the council into improving
police are quite illusive too. Street crime is rampant and anyone
who says it's not, either doesn't live around here, is without their
faculties or works for one of the failing agencies.
"Drug related incidents are an everyday phenomena. Dealers
and substance abusers are unhindered by the law here.
is common-place yet interestingly police policy seems to be to deal
with incidents only if they are really forced to or if they are
easy to deal with.
have been stopped nearly a dozen times for driving 'suspiciously'
down my street in the afternoon and yet a drug dealer stands everyday
on the corner outside my home completely ignored.
"It seems harrassing vulnerable and untheatening members of
the public is a way of escaping the arduous task of apprehending
Harehills is a kooky old place. Neglected and despised by the privileged
and yet if you look closely there are marvellous characters and
deliciously wholesome souls who live in this densely packed urban
chaos. It just needs a lot of help, that's all."
you would like to add your comments about Harehills, or any other
district of Leeds, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org