Riot police called in after youths blocked Leeds roads on Bonfire Night

Police in full riot gear were called to restore order after youths blocked two roads in Leeds with a burning barricade and attacked the emergency services with fireworks.

West Yorkshire Police said no-one was hurt in the first incident on Harehills Road and another serious Bonfire Night related incident in the Hyde Park area of the city.

A spokesman said: "Shortly after 9pm last night, police received a number of calls from members of the public reporting that a large group of youths had built a barricade from bins and other items across Harehills Road, in Harehills.

"The barricade was set alight and fireworks and other objects were thrown at emergency services staff who initially attended.

"Officers in protective equipment, including helmet and shields, were deployed to the area and dispersed the group. Firefighters put out the fire and the road was cleared a short time later."

The spokesman said two police vehicles were damaged along with others belonging to local people.

He said s hortly before 10pm reports came in that Queens Road, in Hyde Park, had been blocked with bins and other items which were set on fire. Fireworks were also being thrown by the group.

Police in riot gear were also sent to this incident.

Detective Superintendent Lisa Atkinson, head of crime for Leeds district, said: "While the bonfire weekend often brings an increase in incidents of firework-related anti-social behaviour, these two incidents were more serious and required officers to deploy in full protective equipment to deal with them.

"Both incidents were dealt with quickly and the groups dispersed but we don't underestimate the impact this behaviour will have had on people living in those areas.

"It is completely unacceptable and we are currently carrying out criminal investigations into both incidents to identify those involved and take appropriate action against them."

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) said its crews came under "sustained attack" on Bonfire Night itself with 15 incidents reported across West Yorkshire.

Over the whole of Bonfire weekend WYFRS experienced 18 reported attacks, a spokeswoman said.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Dave Walton said: "It is only through good fortune that we have not had a firefighter injured by this incredibly foolish behaviour on what has been a very busy night for us."

One incident involved a fire car in which Bradford South MP Judith Cummins was travelling.

The car was attending an incident in Bradford when it was fired at with fireworks by a group of up to 30 people.

Ms Cummins said: "It was quite scary. It's not acceptable. These are people who are going around trying to keep our communities safe."

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