Drunken violence forces Leeds cafe to close doors at weekends

Adam Smith outside the Armley Junk-tion cafe
Adam Smith outside the Armley Junk-tion cafe
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ESCALATING problems of drunken violence and anti-social behaviour have forced a pay-as-you-feel cafe in Leeds to close its doors at weekends.

Adam Smith, co-founder of the Armley Junk-tion cafe on Chapel Lane, said the Real Junk Food Project cafe will be closed during weekend lunchtimes amid fears for the safety of customers, staff and volunteers.

Mr Smith said drunks regularly gather at the cafe and intimidate people.

Mr Smith said the cafe’s chef had to bandage a man’s bloodied hand after a fight outside the cafe on Saturday lunchtime, adding: “He came into the cafe covered in blood - it was like a horror scene.”

He said a suspected drug dealer was operating at the cafe on Sunday. Mr Smith said drunks regularly urinate against trees opposite the cafe, in full view of diners.

Mr Smith wrote on the Armley Junk-tion Facebook page: “The serious lack of support from the police, third sector organisations and council have lead to us making such drastic changes as we are verging on a serious incident occurring.”

Sergeant Chris Craven, of the Leeds Inner West Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Over the last few months we have been working alongside our partner agencies through Safer Leeds and have put a range of measures in place to tackle the issues that were being reported in and around the premises.

“We met with the owner and agreed the actions we were putting in place, including work by relevant support services.

“Officers including myself have been regularly calling at the cafe and speaking to the wider community in that area and have been given the impression that the situation has significantly improved.

“We always take reports of crime and anti-social behaviour seriously and will continue to work with the cafe owner and our partner agencies to ensure that any issues that do occur are suitably addressed.”