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"A horrible place to live"
A steet in Harehills
Is Harehills "beyond help"?

Mr Sutcliffe lives in Harehills but despairs of what he sees as "a third- world hell". One of his drastic solutions would be a curfew on anyone over 14 years old.

Here's his story... do you agree?

SEE ALSO
Kevin Hickson
Juliet Wilson
Don't look down
Harehills main page
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Harehills is a horrible place to live.

Rubbish is left littering the streets for weeks on end.

Joy riders and boy racers zoom up and down the streets at life-threatening speeds playing music that would measure on the Richter scale.

Gangs of youths roam the area setting fire to cars, roofs and bins without a care.

Drug dealers hang around the streets peddling their wares in full view of children playing in the very same streets.

The rat and mice population grows unchecked.

Brunt of the blame
Many of Harehills' problems are endemic to the ‘community’, or rather lack of it, but the police and council must shoulder the brunt of the blame.

If the bins where emptied on time (not missing two or even three collections with no reason given) the rats and mice would not have the food necessary for their ‘baby boom’.

If households in Harehills were equipped with large wheelie-bins then rubbish bags would not be left spilling into the streets and rubbish could be taken to the garbage trucks when they can’t fit down the back streets.

Children as young as three or four play in these streets, where it is not uncommon to rats and mice during the daylight hours, but seem oblivious to the diseases these vermin carry.

Often you will see a group of young children chasing vermin into an overgrown backyard. This is a sight you would expect to see in a third-world country not the modern, vibrant city that Leeds portrays itself to be.

The fire brigade must know the route to the old Harehills Middle School blindfold by now with the number of burnt-out cars, bins and buildings they’ve had to put out in the last year.

Street cameras
Surely more street cameras would reduce these crimes and allow police to actually catch the offenders?

Such cameras would also hopefully do the community a great favour by deterring the drug dealers and hopefully persuading them to move away from the area.

Road humps would stop, or slow, the boy racers and joy riders that endanger our children on a daily basis. A simple, one-off, low-cost solution that would undoubtedly save young children’s lives.

The police seem unwilling, or even scared, to stop in Harehills, which does little to deter the rogue members of the so-called community.

I can’t help wishing the police would enforce a mandatory curfew on anyone under the age of 14 in Harehills, because the parents of these criminally abusive kids seem blissfully unaware of what their children are doing.

Beyond help
Harehills is probably beyond help; I’ve lived here several years and have seen it change from a rough area into a third-world hell.

I for one will not live here a moment longer than I have to, but the increase in house prices elsewhere in the city probably means I’ll be trapped here for the foreseeable future.

I can’t help but think the fault lies squarely with the council – throwing together criminally dysfunctional families into an already downtrodden area, leaving properties in ruin and squalor, what did they expect to happen?

If only we could see a small police presence, it may help this area turn round the rack and ruin that seem endemic, but the police seem happy to turn a blind eye.

I despair.
Mr Sutcliffe

See the Harehills guide here

Have your say
If you would like to add your comments about Harehills, or any other district of Leeds, e-mail leeds@bbc.co.uk

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