Leeds works to retain its status as safe city in aftermath of stabbings

The scene of this weekend's stabbing.
The scene of this weekend's stabbing.
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Leeds is still a safe and enjoyable place to enjoy a night out, say city leaders who are working to retain its reputation as a top leisure destination.

Leeds BID (Business Improvement District), the council, police and other agencies are preparing a 600-page document that sets out Leeds’ offering in relation to security, crime, safety, variety of appeal for all ages and cultures - from nightclubs to theatres - and what vibe is created for people between day and night.

The Purple Flag scheme recognises towns and cities for meeting set criteria in relation to five core strands and while Leeds has held this for two years it is preparing its submission to renew the accreditation amid the aftermath of two stabbings in the city centre in the space of a week.

It is to be reviewed in October, with a decision in January, but comes after a stabbing in the city centre in the early hours of Saturday at Bridge End. The previous weekend there was a stabbing at the junction of Call Lane and Duncan Street.

Karen Butler, head of place management and delivery for LeedsBID said: “Some cities have lost theirs (Purple Flags) and that is not a position that we want to be in.”

Referring to the two recent city centre stabbings she said Leeds “was not unusual” compared to other large cities and the Purple Flag application is an opportunity to review offerings and systems in place. Last year this led to the introduction of evening ambassadors who work until 4am.

The Purple Flag's five key areas are partnership working, destinations being safe and welcoming, movement from one part of the city to another, appeal for different ages, groups and cultures, and how places link day to nightlife.

She added: “Work around Purple Flag is very much about improving the perception of safety and the evening ambassador scheme is working very well.”

Meanwhile, detectives have arrested a third man after a stabbing in Leeds city centre at the weekend.

The 19-year-old was arrested in Bradford on Sunday night in connection with the incident involving a 20-year-old man in Bridge End in the early hours of Saturday.

The arrested man was in custody today (Monday).

Two other 19-year-old men who were arrested previously have since been released under investigation, police said.