Residents call for closure of alleyway over fears of child prostitution, drugs and anti-social behaviour

Residents have called to block off an alleyway saying child prostitution, heroin consumption and anti-social behaviour is taking place every day outside their homes.

Horndean Road in Sheffield

Residents in every household on Horndean Road, in Sheffield, signed a petition calling for an end to the problems blighting their neighbourhood which have made them scared to come out of their homes.

Sulhail Mahmood, who lives on the road, presented the petition, which has a total of 57 signatures, at a full council meeting yesterday.

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He said the alleyway was originally created for use by residents but it has become a hotspot for gangs and criminal activity.

Mr Mahmood said: “What the problem now is we have seen, and we have evidence of, child prostitution and paedophilia going on, on that alleyway every single day.

"Class A and Class B drugs are being sold and consumed on that alleyway. Anti-social behaviour from 10 o’clock in the morning until two, three in the morning. Gangs of children, gangs of kids and gangs of old men hanging about on there.

“Residents don’t feel safe to walk on that alleyway, we don’t feel safe coming out of our houses on Horndean Road. Damage has been done to properties, we put our bins out on Thursday nights and the children that walk up from Idsworth Road kick our bins every Thursday so we have got rubbish on the road.”

He said they want to see it closed off and used as a green community space for residents.

“It’s come to a point now where it has just got so bad that we can’t come out,” he said. “My mum is 87, we have lived in that area all of our lives.

"When we open our window just a little bit and we have the smell of cannabis and heroin coming into our house. She’s 87, she doesn’t deserve that, she’s worked all of her life here, she’s a law abiding citizen, she should feel safe in her own house and be able to open her window and get some fresh air, not drugs coming in.”

Councillor Alison Teal, cabinet member for sustainable neighbourhoods, wellbeing, parks and leisure, said: “I’m horrified by what I’ve heard you say today.

“I was unaware of the extent of the issues that you have brought to us so consider today as being the first day of my involvement with this issue and I think I better come and visit.

“I’m lead on sustainable neighbourhoods and your neighbourhood doesn’t sound sustainable to me, it’s not acceptable to live under those conditions.

“You have raised some very serious safeguarding issues that we must also look into. We are obliged to as a council and I don’t know what extent that information has come through possibly to another department so I will have to check that with my colleagues.

“But it sounds deeply troubling and I commit to you to come and visit and learn more about what is happening and do our best to help you resolve this unfortunately long standing issue.”