Fears over gang violence on Dewsbury Moor estate

VIOLENT clashes between gangs on an estate are worrying people living there.

Cars have been damaged and windows smashed during fights between groups of men in Dewsbury Moor.

People living in Burgh Mill Lane, where trouble started recently, said there had not been any problems with gangs on Pilgrim Estate for around a year.

But now locals are worried they are seeing a return of the sort of anti-social behaviour that has blighted the area in the past.

One woman, who asked not be named, said she had lived there for around a year and had not seen any trouble.

But on Saturday June 2, her husband’s car windows were smashed and she was terrified by the sight of dozens of men fighting outside her house.

“I was at home at the time it happened,” she said.

“There were 25 or 30 lads fighting in front of my door.

“They smashed my husband’s car and my neighbour’s car as well, and they threw the wood that they smashed the cars with into my front garden.

“This is the first time it has happened. It was terrible.

“A woman came out and screamed and everyone was fighting with each other. Straight away, I phoned the police.”

The woman said she understood that the violence was caused by rival gangs from Dewsbury Moor and Ravensthorpe.

“Sometimes I recognise the boys’ faces – I’m terrified when I see them,” she said.

The woman said she had heard of similar incidents before she moved to the estate, but none as bad as the one she witnessed.

“My neighbour told me there used to be lots of problems. Every weekend, at night, there were big fights like this one.”

On June 2, police were called to reports of groups of men fighting in Burgh Mill Lane and Ravenshouse Road at 11.21pm.

A police spokesman said three cars were damaged, and the windows of a house in Burgh Mill Lane.

A 19-year-old man was arrested and charged with criminal damage.

The spokesman said police were aware of a number of incidents which took place on Pilgrim Estate that night, and that since then the local neighbourhood policing team had put extra patrols out to reassure residents.

One man, who asked not to be named but also lives in Burgh Mill Lane, said there had not been any problems in his street for around a year.

Before that, he said, youths from Ravensthorpe used to clash with youths from Pilgrim Estate as they walked through the neighbourhood to get to school.

“It was just little kids’ territorial issues,” he said.

He said that there had been fewer problems since known troublemakers on the estate had been caught by police.

But he added that he was worried about the next generation of children on the estate.

He said he was concerned that they would inherit the same the territorial attitude from their older siblings.

“It has quietened down now, but the youngsters have taken up the flag,” he said.