Police visibility increased in communities across Sheffield

Improved: Staniforth Road has benefited from focused police work
Improved: Staniforth Road has benefited from focused police work

Police have acted in communities across Sheffield to answer public concerns about a lack of visibility from officers, employing a range of tactics to suit local needs which have resulted in a string of successes.

The work has been done by officers in the city’s new neighbourhood policing teams, re-introduced around a year ago after being previously phased out as a cost saving measure.

Senior officers regard the move to use officers locally, with a strong knowledge of the communities they serve, as highly successful and the objective now is to eventually switch more officers into similar roles.

In Darnall a community survey was organised in response to long-standing problems with community tension, crime and anti-social behaviour in the Main Road and Staniforth Road areas and that flagged up concerns over a lack of visible policing.

As a result, patrols were increased to target ‘hot spot’ areas and work was done with businesses in the area to encourage them to move people on from their premises.

Posters were also put up, using different languages to explain unacceptable behaviour and the consequences for those involved.

A report prepared for South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, said: “The results have included the recovery of drugs, increased number of searches, parking enforcement and vehicle seizures.

“A closure order was obtained for a key property and several people were arrested for breaching the order.

“Some properties contained children left alone and action was taken in conjunction with Social Care.

“The results have seen a reduction in anti-social behaviour and without a doubt a change in local behaviour.”

In north-east Sheffield, Dr Billings was told “one of the biggest criticisms was lack of visibility and contact with the local police.”

“This led to the implementation of Pop in Police Stations, which have now been adopted by the District and force wide.

“This approach identifies key community concerns and improves trust and confidence.

“In Burngreave, one of the main issues raised by the community was illegal and inconsiderate parking.

“Previously untouched areas are now regularly patrolled and enforced by Parking Services with support from SYP.”

In Foxhill, police have targeted a known offender blamed for burglaries, arson and causing fear and intimidation and at Shiregreen, work has been done to tackle anti-social behaviour and problems with assaults and people being pelted with stones and eggs.

That has involved police working with other organisations and “robust action” has been taken against two key individuals, with a family also moved out following a tenancy breach.