Crime in Sheffield is at its lowest for a quarter of a century, police have revealed – but three of the city’s areas have been offending hotspots for three years running.
The number of crimes being committed across almost every area of the city has reduced, including areas such as Manor and Burngreave and the city centre.
The drop is despite a huge increase in sex crime reports across South Yorkshire, which the force says is due to the knock-on effect of the Jimmy Savile investigation.
But figures obtained as part of The Star’s Your Right To Know campaign reveal the areas of Sheffield which in 2013 still had the highest crime – including three neighbourhoods which have topped the crime charts for three years running.
The Star can also reveal the top 10 and bottom 10 areas of Sheffield for crime, and the amount of crime in each.
The total amount of crime in Sheffield amounted last year to 37,868 incidents, down 8.8 per cent from 41,207.
Three city areas – the city centre, Darnall and Burngreave – have been the worst places for crime for the last three years running.
But the figures are against a backdrop of falling crime, figures show.
South Yorkshire Police’s Superintendent Shaun Morley stated the city has less crime than at any time in 25 years, despite a huge increase in the amount of sex crimes reported.
“We have continued to work hard to reduce crime across the city,” he said.
“Those areas where we have seen an increase, such as sexual crimes and hate crime, is in our opinion down to the increased ease with which complainants can report such crimes, and the fact we have put resources into those areas and increased the confidence of the public to report those crimes. My overall message is crime in Sheffield is at its lowest for the last 25 years. This year we have seen a 6.3 per cent reduction in crime within the city.”
“We have constantly reduced crime to its lowest level in the last 25 years. That shows we’re working hard to make Sheffield the safest city in the country, and we are working hard to protect that status.”
Figures released under The Star’s Your Right To Know campaign show 6,708 crimes were committed in the city centre, 2,808 in Darnall and 2,571 in Burngreave – but all but one were lower than 2012’s figures: 7,286, 3,232 and 2,476 respectively.
The fourth-highest area for crime in 2013 was Southey with 1,645, followed by Manor Castle with 1,689, and Walkley with 1,619 – but all were down year-on-year.
Gleadless Valley is the burglary capital of Sheffield – 241 house burglaries took place in the area, beating the city centre with 191.
Supt Morley said: “I think there are a number of factors involved. It’s a significant housing estate and, in terms of the offender profile of the last 12 months, a big number of active offenders have been residents or active in or around that area. I think that has contributed.
“If you look at progress in relation to the Gleadless Valley, recorded crime is down 18.8 per cent. There is a 3.5 per cent reduction in burglary as a whole, or a 1.1 per cent reduction in burglary of dwellings.”
But the centre was top for assault with injury, with 640 reports, and cannabis possession, with 149, as well as being home to 1,142 thefts.
Outside the city centre, Darnall was home to the second-highest theft rate with 313, and the highest possession of cannabis rate, with 103. Darnall was the suburban area with the highest theft rate with 329, and had the largest number of rapes of a female aged over 16 outside the city centre, with eight against central’s nine.
Mr Morley added: “Darnall and Burngreave are both inner city areas which are quite densely populated and quite economically challenged as well.
“All those factors mean you are going to get a degree of criminality. But we are doing significant work in those areas. If you take Darnall as an example, that has seen a significant reduction in crime year-on-year of eight per cent.”
Rounding out the top 10 in order of most crimes were Walkley with 1,619, Gleadless Valley with 1,577, Firth Park with 1,541, Arbourthorne with 1,278, and Woodhouse with 1,271.
But all dropped year on year against 2012, with the only two areas to have an increase being Stannington, from 665 to 783, and Dore and Totley, from 425 to 537, as well as increases in Stocksbridge & Upper Don, West Ecclesfield and Burngreave.
One piece of bad news is the positive outcome rate – the measure of the number of crimes which result in a charge, court summons or caution for an alleged offender.
In Sheffield, the rate is down slightly when it should be increasing, according to Mr Morley.
He said: “We have seen a slight reduction in the positive outcome rate, to about 25 per cent from about 27 per cent, which is slightly concerning and something we have to make significant strides in increasing.
“But I think there’s a lot of good news in these crime figures. There are significant reductions in burglary and vehicle crime. We have done a lot of preventative work.
“We have something called optimal burglary which means we analyse where burglaries are occurring and increase our visibility around areas of concern.
“We also have a process called cocooning, which means if a burglary occurs we will visit 40 surrounding premises and provide crime prevention advice.
“If you can target that area it reduces the opportunity for offenders. It has a significant impact, and we have seen that across the city.”
SHEFFIELD CRIME FIGURES
Gleadless Valley down 18.8 per cent in
Central down by 8.6%
Darnall down by 15%
Burngreave up by 3.8%
Southey down by 6.7%
Manor Castle down by 19.53%
Walkley down by 7.8%
Gleadless Valley down by 11.2%
Firth Park down by 7.5%
Arbourthorne down by 23.9%
Woodhouse down by 12.8%
Stannington up by 15%
West Ecclesfield up by 17.4%
Stocksbridge& Upper Don up by 16%
Dore & Totley up by 26.4%
Burngreave up by 3.8%