Life on lawless 'Zoo' Leeds estate where gangs attack police

Life on lawless Leeds estate dubbed ‘The Zoo’ where gangs torch cars, police are attacked with bricks and houses are burgled every single week

  • Residents in Halton Moor, Leeds say police have lost control of the estate
  • Gangs of thugs have attacked officers, torched vans and burgled homes
  • Riots broke out on estate this month, with fireworks shoved through letterboxes
  • Terrified locals have now fled the estate fearing for their lives and property 

A lawless Leeds estate where police are attacked by yobs who torch cars in the street in broad daylight has been dubbed ‘The Zoo’.

Residents in Halton Moor say police are unable to control gangs of thugs and have described how their homes have been repeatedly burgled. 

The crime-ridden estate is apparently so dangerous that terrified locals have fled the area, and taxis and takeaway drivers avoid going there. 

Riots broke out at Halton Moor earlier this month, with gangs of ‘youths’ shoving fireworks through letterboxes and setting vehicles on fire.

Last year, a police van was set ablaze on the side of the road and bricks hurled at riot vans full of officers who retreated for their own safety. 

A police chief described the ‘lawless’ behaviour on Kendall Drive, Rathmell Road and Ullswater Crescenet as ‘truly disgraceful’ after officers were once again assaulted.

Leeds council has teamed up with police to restore order to the area, with more officers policing the streets doing everything ‘to help keep the community safe’.

Inspector Jodie Scatchard, of the Leeds East Neighbourhood Policing Team, said reports of disorder ‘are completely unacceptable’.  

A CSI van is completely engulfed in flames on Ullswater Crescent, Halton Moor 

Debris on Rathmell Road, Halton Moor, after large groups clashed with police this month

A CSI van completely engulfed in flames on Ullswater Crescent, Halton Moor last year

The issues with anti-social behaviour date back years. Former resident Nikki Maycock, 39, told LeedsLive she moved away several years ago because she feared her son would get caught up with the wrong crowd.

The single mother said living on the estate was ‘horrendous’ as mobs broke into her house ‘every other week’, adding: ‘I just didn’t want to spend any time there’.     

The thugs even stole a gate installed to prevent further thefts, she added. 

‘All the kids used to know that I was living by myself with my young boy,’ she said. ‘Every time I left the house I’d come back and my windows would be smashed in. 

‘The council put a gate up at the side of the house to stop them coming around the back, but that was nicked. It got the point where I didn’t have anything in the house, because I didn’t want them to nick anything. 

‘I tried to get out of there every weekend. I just didn’t want to spend any time there – even though it was my own home.’

Another long-term resident said that around Bonfire Night the estate sounds like ‘World War Three’ due to constant fireworks.

And Steph Blueman, who has friends living at Halton Moor, said she was targeted by one youngster who tried to force her to smoke marijuana and attempted to fight her. 

But Cllr Debra Coupar called the estate a ‘really good community’ and said ‘people are extremely disappointed that the name of Halton Moor has been dragged through the mud because of the mindless acts of a few individuals’. 

Inspector Jodie Scatchard, who heads the Leeds East Neighbourhood Policing Team, told MailOnline: ‘Officers have been maintaining an increased presence in Halton Moor this week, and reassuringly there have been no further similar incidents since the weekend.

‘We are continuing to work alongside our partner agencies, particularly the local authority and local elected members, to ensure we are doing everything we can to help keep the community feeling safe.

‘The criminal investigation by our CID colleagues is continuing to progress and three people arrested as part of that have already been charged with offences.

‘The incidents of disorder that we saw at the weekend, as well as other incidents of anti-social behaviour that impact on people’s lives, are completely unacceptable and we will continue to work in partnership to take appropriate action against those who involve themselves in any such behaviour.’

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