New railings, to try and prevent anti-social behaviour, have this week been installed on Bower Street in Harrogate.
Following community concerns, Harrogate Borough Council has been working with residents and partners to try and tackle ongoing issues of anti-social behaviour in this area of Harrogate town centre.
This has included regular police patrols and the targeting of individuals who cause harassment, alarm and distress.
In addition to this targeted activity, the borough council has been working with private owners to make the area more secure.
Due to the land being privately owned, negotiations have taken longer than hoped, but the council are pleased to announce that these railings have now been installed.
Councillor Richard Cooper, leader of Harrogate Borough Council and central ward member, said:
All of us who live or work near this location know that it has been trouble for a long time. While the council has worked with the police on the issues, the land is privately owned and installing secure boundaries is the responsibility of the property owner.
Nonetheless, the council and other partners recognise the impact that anti-social behaviour and criminal activity has on the quality of life of residents, businesses and the wider community.
That is why we have agreed to help the property owners secure their boundaries and install these railings. I am grateful to the property owners for working with us on this and am pleased to say that said railings are now installed.
We know that securing this area will not immediately solve the anti-social and criminal behaviour problem at this location. Long-term dedicated support is the only way to do that. And we must recognise that the people who congregate in these areas often have complex physical and mental health needs.
We need to continue to support agencies and schemes like Harrogate Homeless Project and Harrogate Street Aid that provide help to people in need.
The cost of installing the barriers was £6,000 and was match-funded with private owners.