Leeds MPs are ‘looking into’ increased CCTV and lighting at ‘assault hotspot’

The proposals come after a petition to completely close the alleyway

Two Leeds MPs have promised they are “looking into” providing CCTV and improving lighting along Headingley stadium alleyway, following an assault that reportedly took place last week.

In the joint statement, Rachel Reeves MP and Alex Sobel MP insisted they are “working closely together to address this serious issue”.

Rachel Reeves said: “I am extremely concerned to hear about reported sexual assault in the alleyway that runs from Kirkstall Lane to St Michael’s Lane, between Headingley Stadium and Greyshiels Avenue/The Turnways, most recently this weekend.

“The ginnel is located on the border between my constituency and that of my colleague Alex Sobel MP, so we are working closely together to address this serious issue and to raise it with the police and Leeds City Council.

“I understand that the local ward councillors Cllr Al Garthwaite, Cllr Neil Walshaw and Cllr Jonathan Pryor are looking into having CCTV installed at key points along the ginnel, and ensuring that the overhanging trees and foliage, which currently obstruct the light, are cut back. The ward councillors have written to local residents and are liaising with the police, who will be upping their patrols.

“Alex and I will continue to monitor the situation closely and keep working with Leeds City Council, the local ward councillors and the police to ensure that this issue is addressed, as the safety of residents is our primary concern.”

The new proposals come after a private events company  started providing security for the alley way and petition was launched to completely close the alleyway.

The petition, referring to women having been “targeted for many years”, highlights how “no action has come from these crimes”, and emphasises that “it is time that women feel safe”.

A protest has also been organised to “reclaim” the alleyway.

The demonstration will take place at midday on the 30th of October outside Headingley stadium, not only raising awareness about the alleyway, but also further sexual assault cases across Leeds.

Organisers promote it as a COVID-19 safe event. They encourage people to bring a reusable mask, hand sanitiser, and continue to social distance, whilst requesting that anybody who “feels unwell” does not attend.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• Leeds student protest set up to ‘reclaim Headingley stadium alleyway’

• Petition launched after ex-student assaulted near Headingley stadium

• Leeds-based events company steps up to provide security for Headingley alley after student assault