Homes were raided, cars seized and suspects arrested in a massive police blitz on crime ahead of ‘Mad Friday’ today.
More than 120 officers were involved in the high-profile crackdown operation yesterday, carried out to reassure the public and warn criminals of their presence in readiness for the notorious last Friday before Christmas.
Insp Glen Suttenwood, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “It’s a high-visibility, high-profile operation to target crime and criminals. This time of year we generally see a spike in crime across Sheffield. However, we are bucking that trend and that’s down to people’s efforts.”
“We get out there and we target those that bring despair and misery to our communities.”
The operation – given the codename ‘Portable-Cullis 2’ – was carried out mostly in the north east area of Sheffield and ran for 12 hours from noon to midnight last night.
In the first hour alone, police vans, cars and motorbikes descended upon Page Hall to reassure residents and local businesses after recent reports about community tensions in the area.
One store was visited after a tip-off to the police.
Insp Simon Leake said: “A number of young people scarpered when we entered. We caught a few of them.”
Meanwhile, a house on the Wensley estate was raided after officers conducted a stop-and-search on a man and found cannabis.
A home was subsequently searched and he and another individual were arrested on suspicion of drugs crimes.
On the roads, police motorbikers used their high-tech number plate recognition technology to track down motorists who were driving without insurance or a licence.
One 38-year-old Sheffield man was pulled over and arrested on suspicion of driving while disqualified.
Other areas targeted during the crime blitz included Burngreave and Parson Cross.
Chief Constable David Crompton and Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright were due to join the operation in the evening to check up on progress last night.
Chief Insp Adie Brown, one of the leaders of the operation, said: “Times are difficult at the moment.
“The aim of this is really not just to give reassurance but also to show we really do want to take people off the street that are going to make people miserable by committing crime.”