The Mayor of Kirklees has joined police and local councillors in calling for calm after a string of violent robberies and burglaries in Dewsbury and Batley.
Coun Paul Kane has warned against people taking the law into their own hands after robbers raided homes in the district stealing cash, jewellery and cars.
Tensions came to a head last Thursday night in Charles Street, Ravensthorpe, when violence broke out between a 150-strong mob. And police said vigilante behaviour was “causing harm to the wider community.”
Coun Kane said: “People are understandably uncomfortable. But the vigilante action is not helping. Many times these people have information that is not the correct information. It is a distressing time but we do get a better outcome when we remain calm and leave it to the professionals.”
Dewsbury South councillor Masood Ahmed called a community meeting in Savile Town last week. Police officers spoke to the 300 people about the action they were taking and the patrols that still remain in place.
Coun Ahmed said: “They reassured the community that they are doing all they can to keep people safe. They have not taken their foot off the pedal. People do not have the right to take the law into their own hands. If they want to help, we are looking at setting up neighbourhood watch groups.”
A neighbourhood watch scheme has also been set up in Batley following the incidents.
Batley councillor Shabir Pandor said: “The last thing we want is vigilante groups who have the right intention but might not actually achieve it. I think it is a time for calm.
“There is a lot of energy and anger about what’s been happening but we need to make sure we use it in the right way so it doesn’t jeopardise the good work of the police.”