From Keighley News, March 1st, 2018
Written by Alistair Shand
HEAVY drinking and open drug taking on the streets is threatening to drive visitors away from Keighley, it is feared.
One disgusted trader has told how some people are drinking themselves senseless and others openly injecting themselves in the town centre.
Passers-by are having to endure a barrage of abuse and intimidation.
And in one incident, a dog belonging to the group attacked a security officer from the town's Airedale Shopping Centre.
This week, Bradford Council revealed it was working on introducing a so-called Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) – designed to tackle anti-social behaviour.
A problem hotspot in the town is the area around the Cavendish Street/Hanover Street junction.
"You can get up to 15 people congregate under the ramp – some days from as early as 8am," said the trader, who asked not to be named.
"They get so drunk they can barely stand and openly inject.
"People walking past have abuse shouted at them and are threatened.
"It's absolutely disgusting that people going about their daily lives should have to put up with this.
"Shoppers aren't going to want to come back if they have to endure this and it's hardly any wonder we're losing retailers."
The council said it took anti-social behaviour "extremely seriously".
A spokesman added: "We work hard with agencies such as the police and other partners to try to tackle the problems caused by people acting in an unacceptable way.
"At the moment we are working on a PSPO which, once implemented, would be effective in Keighley town centre to deal with people drinking alcohol within the designated area as well as those causing a nuisance in other ways."
The town's MP, John Grogan, welcomed the move.
"I think there is a case for one," he said.
"The orders allow councils to place restrictions or impose conditions on activities that people can carry out in designated areas.
"Three such orders already exist in Bradford city centre.
"They are designed to deal with issues such as street drinking, identified in problem areas, which are having a detrimental impact on the quality of life in a community."
Breaches of the order can result in a fixed penalty notice and banned items may be confiscated.
Steve Seymour, manager of the Airedale Shopping Centre, said he supported any measures aimed at combating the problem.
"I am aware of the issue as are the police and Inspector Khalid Khan has promised his full support," he added.
"I can confirm that one of my security officers was bitten during an incident about three weeks ago and the police are dealing with this matter.
"I totally agree with the complainant's comments that any form of intimidation in any area of the town is not acceptable.
"It is unacceptable in any town, as it can affect people's choices of where and when they shop and visit and where they will walk."
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "We are continuing to work with partners to tackle anti-social behaviour and drugs in Keighley town centre."