A Sheffield suburb blighted by community unrest is ‘turning a corner’ – with a new police team dedicated exclusively to the area and the promise of Government support to tackle issues.
Two thousand Roma Slovak migrants have moved to Page Hall, Fir Vale, Tinsley and Darnall in the last two years – and now a ‘package of support’ for the areas affected by the sudden influx has been announced by the Government.
MPs Clive Betts and David Blunkett had campaigned for extra support for the city, and Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has now announced that help will be provided.
He added initiatives would ‘ensure newcomers are properly integrated’ into communities.
His announcement came as South Yorkshire Police moved a new team of officers into a base in Page Hall, where there has been community tension following high numbers of Roma Slovaks moving in.
The nine-strong team – which is patrolling the streets seven days a week – has been working in Page Hall since April, but now has a permanent base on Owler Lane, with officers tasked with engaging with the local community and helping partner agencies resolve issues.
Residents have welcomed the Government support, and praised the police team for concentrating on their community.
Gail Sharrod, aged 45, who has lived in Page Hall for six years, said: “The area has changed over recent years and we now have people hanging around on the streets. But I think it is turning a corner with the police here all the time now. There used to be big groups hanging around, and young kids on the streets at all times of the day and night, but it’s not as bad these days. I hope that continues.”
Inspector Chris Lewis, who runs the new policing team, said officers will remain in Page Hall for as long as it takes.