Grant money helps to prevent crime in Sheffield community

Police and Neighbourhood watch volunteers distribute shed alarms and anti theft screws to residents in Handsworth
Police and Neighbourhood watch volunteers distribute shed alarms and anti theft screws to residents in Handsworth
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People living in a Sheffield suburb are feeling safer this week after they were given free shed alarms and anti-tamper screws.

Neighbourhood Watch volunteers were joined by police as they handed out the crime prevention equipment in Handsworth on Saturday.

The shed alarms and anti-tamper screws for car number plates were paid for with a £7,200 grant from South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings.

Police then identified several crime hospots, including Handsworth, and helped Neighbourhood Watch members distribute them to residents.

Sheffield Neighbourhood Watch district chairman Wendy Zealand said: “The majority of people in vulnerable areas accepted it.

“Overall it was very successful and people were surprised when we knocked on their doors and gave them the alarms.”

Wendy hopes to extend the project to other areas of Sheffield, including Owlthorpe and Chapeltown. She had hoped to cover a much wider area of South Yorkshire and originally applied for £21,800.

But she is now working with police to help her decide where is best to target.

“We have identified areas based on crime rates. Each police station has identified a hotspot,” said Wendy.

“The funding came up and in a very short space of time, and no-one seemed to want to do it. The only major crime I knew of at the time which was likely to be across the whole of South Yorkshire was shed thefts and theft of registration plates.

“Whatever crime we tackle is going to be a help.”

Wendy believes the project will help the reputation of police while raising awareness of what Neighbourhood Watch does.

She said: “It helps the police because no-one sees them around these days. It gave people an opportunity to see that they are doing something, and working in partnership with us.”