Patrols stepped up at Harrogate council car park after antisocial problems

Patrols have been stepped up by the council and the police.
Patrols have been stepped up by the council and the police.

Police and security patrols of a council-run car park in Harrogate have been stepped up after a number of issues around antisocial behaviour in the area.

Harrogate Borough Council have assured residents that precautions are being taken at West Park multi-storey car park on Tower Street after a young woman reported an incident of sexual harassment.

Councillor Phil Ireland, HBC’s cabinet member for Sustainable Transport said the council was aware of the antisocial behaviour problems at the car park.

He said: “We are extremely concerned that anyone has been subject to this type of behaviour in one of our car parks.

“We are aware of the anti-social behaviour taking place and this week we have increased our patrols of the car park, particularly after dark.”

The 21-year-old office worker, who wished to remain anonymous, said that she had been stopped in the stairwell by two men “who appeared to be smoking drugs”.

The pair made “suggestive remarks and sounds” at the woman before she exited the stairwell to avoid confrontation.

After leaving the stairwell at a different level the woman said she had to walk up the vehicle ramps to reach her car.

She said: “I now feel unsafe and uneasy using the carpark when alone and after dark and I use this car park daily for work.”

Coun Ireland said that the council was working with the police and CCTV operators to reinforce security of the facility.

He said: “We’re also working closely with the police, who are now including the car park in their regular patrols, and our Community Safety team and CCTV operators to deal with these issues.

“We are monitoring this situation closely on a daily basis and would urge anyone who witnesses any instances of anti-social behaviour in our car parks to contact us or, if they are threatened, to contact the police directly.”