'Lots of work' underway to 'improve' violent Yorkshire estate

Buttershaw grandad Danny Shields
-Credit: (Image: Samuel Port)

'Lots of work' is underway to 'improve' a violent Yorkshire estate.

Buttershaw in Bradford was revealed as one of the most violent areas in the region - with a 'no go' park, night time terrors and rowdy youths. The neighbourhood is one of the most deprived areas in the country, according to the English indices of deprivation which lists it in the bottom ten percentile.

There were 383 violent and sexual offences reported in the residential area between February 1, 2023 and January 31, 2024, alone. The estate, known for its hulking tower blocks and 1940s style council housing, was the setting for 1980s cult film Rita, Sue and Bob Too. The culture hasn’t much changed since, according to locals.

Read more: Life in 'forgotten' Yorkshire town desperate to shake its harsh nickname

One pensioner said: “It’s pretty rough. If you pick on someone, they won’t back down." Another said it had grown a reputation for 'fighting and robbing'. While a mum-of-two said the local Wibsy Park is a 'no go zone' at night, and opened up about the nuisance youths on bikes and their scary dogs.

Bradford Council has since responded, stating that 'lots of work is going on to improve the neighbourhood'. The council detailed a number of schemes focused on tackling crime and deprivation, and has invited residents and local businesses to work with them.

General views of Buttershaw - locals say the shop is regularly targeted by shoplifters
General views of Buttershaw - locals say the shop is regularly targeted by shoplifters -Credit:Samuel Port

A Bradford Council spokesperson said: “We acknowledge that Buttershaw is an underprivileged area of our district, but lots of work is going on to improve the neighbourhood and move towards giving its residents a happier and healthier experience."

The council added: “Our estates team recently took the decision to demolish part of one of the shop blocks on Reevy Rd West due to its poor condition, which has improved the appearance of the area.

“There is still a great deal of work for us and our partners to do on the estate and we continue to keep going with this and strive to work with residents and partners to make Buttershaw a better place for everyone.

"We prioritise working with communities for communities; if there are residents, businesses and partners with a passion and commitment to bring about real and lasting change, we would welcome the conversation."

Buttershaw grandad Ian Judson
Buttershaw grandad Ian Judson said people in the area 'won't back down' -Credit:Samuel Port

The council said Buttershaw Youth Centre recently reopened after extensive renovations and a number for activities are being run that for young people. It is working with West Yorkshire Police on Operation Steerside, tackling nuisance use of vehicles and bikes. Its teams hold regular surgeries in the Royds ward (which includes Buttershaw) where there are discussions with residents over reporting nuisance quads and bikes. Last year, the Neighbourhoods team and local councillors held 12 street surgeries/ nuisance bike door knocks to complement Operation Steerside and has just kick-started its summer programme of engagement in the ward for this year.

The council also listed various iniatives, such as the SAFE Taskforce - a government-funded initiative targeting young people at risk of involvement in crime which focuses on school attendance, social-skills and mentoring programmes, alongside healthy relationships and issues relating to gang culture . Sandale Trust, a Bradford South charity community organisation, supported by the council, is active in the community, with a social supermarket, community shop and café on the estate.

In addition, Reevy Hill Family Hub is on the estate, run by the Children’s Trust, supporting families and children with education, health, benefits, work and training. Royds Community Association social prescribers based at The Ridge medical practice on Ridings Way work closely with local partners including the council to develop activities designed to help residents adopt healthy lifestyles.

Get all the latest and breaking Bradford news straight to your inbox by signing up to our newsletter here.