Inside 'lawless' Leeds estate dubbed 'The Zoo' where police attacked by yobs and cars left burning in the road

Inside 'lawless' Leeds estate dubbed 'The Zoo' where police attacked by yobs and cars left burning in the road

A NOTORIOUS Leeds estate where yobs threw bricks at police and torched cars in the street during days of violence has been dubbed 'The Zoo'.

Takeaway drivers and cabbies refuse to visit Halton Moor, while long-term residents have moved out over fears of gangs.

Ex-resident Nikki Maycock, 39, told Leeds Live: "I just didn't want to spend any time there – even though it was my own home."

Riots broke out at the estate earlier this month, with gangs of 'youths' shoving fireworks through letterboxes and setting fire to vehicles.

And last year, a police van was set ablaze on the side of the road and bricks hurled at riot vans full of officers.

Teams of cops were forced to retreat for their own safety during the shocking attacks.

Nikki says she was targeted by mobs who knew she lived alone with her young son.

And she was burgled so often she stopped leaving valuables in the house altogether.

The thugs even stole a gate installed to prevent further thefts, Nikki said.

Meanwhile, one long-time resident said that around Bonfire Night the estate sounds like "World War Three" due to constant fireworks.

Steph Blueman, who has friends living at Halton Moor, said she would never live there.

She said she was targeted by one youngster who tried to force her to smoke marijuana and attempted to fight her as she entered her pal's block of flats.

Steph said: "If I go down there, I don't feel safe. The police can't even control them."

But another resident, Sarah Jeffery, 61, said she has "never had any issues whatsoever" while living there.

She blamed the trouble on a "minority".

"It upsets me when people say insulting comments about Halton Moor. They just tar everyone with the same brush," Steph said.

And the deputy leader of the local council, Debra Coupar, said there was a "good community" on the estate.

She said: "There are so many good people and law-abiding citizens living on this estate, but 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.

"This ridiculous behaviour by a small number of individuals has brought the area's name into disrepute."

Now Leeds council has teamed up with local cops to restore order to the area, with more officers policing the streets doing everything "to help keep the community keeping safe".

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

She added there had "reassuringly" been no similar incidents following the weekend of violence.

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