Reports of harassment in Leeds park increase

More women are sharing their experience of being assaulted in the Moor in order to make others more aware

More women are turning to social media to warn others of suspicious activity after various assaults in Woodhouse Moor

Claims of men removing their clothing and grabbing women walking through the park have spread across Facebook, inspiring those with similar experiences to also share.

It would seem the attacks are occurring frequently, with there being a new post about a man following someone or revealing himself without consent every other day.

The events are preventing many from exercising alone and steering them away from the park altogether.

One post received various comments from those who had had a similar experience with a man hovering in the Moor who exposed and performed sexual acts on himself when someone walked past.

The Moor is North West of the city centre and leads into the highly populated student area, Hyde Park, where the assaults continue. 

One female student posted in ‘Leeds Student Group’ on Facebook about a man who followed her along Hyde Park road into a cafe across the road from the park; saying she’s sharing her experience in case “anyone else has had an encounter with this creepy staring man.”

The Moor is permanently open and is made up of grassland, a skate park, various sport areas such as tennis courts, a playground, and allotments and is managed by Leeds City Council’s Parks and Countryside Service.

The service received criticism for not appropriately lighting the area after a petition on Parliament UK to create street lighting within Woodhouse Moor was rejected. 

However, attacks continue to take place during the day as well as during the night.

Most recently, a 21-year-old woman was assaulted last Tuesday when a man came up to her, threw snow at her then proceeded to grab her as she repeatedly tried to get away. 

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the Yorkshire Evening Post how she tried to escape the man.

“I just had to become a bit more aggressive because he was holding me so I said to ‘Stop and leave me alone’ much more seriously and louder.

“The fact that this happened during the day when people are usually around makes me think that people don’t even care about the conditions, which is scary.”

There were 4,662 reported cases of violence and sexual assault reported in Leeds last year with 367 of those being in Woodhouse Moor last December.

Councilor for Headingley and Hyde Park, Neil Walshaw explains whether anything is being done following these attacks.

“We are aware of these incidents and are getting regular police updates.

“I urge victims to show some ‘urban awareness’, not walk in Woodhouse Moor at night and report any incidents to the police so we can be made aware.”

There are no current legal proceedings in regards to the allegations.

Last year, a dangerous alleyway in Headingley required security patrolling after numerous incidents that left one victim in hospital after an attack.

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