MP praises city agencies

Brightside and Hillsborough MP David Blunkett
Brightside and Hillsborough MP David Blunkett
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Sheffield MP David Blunkett has praised agencies working in a suburb plagued by intimidating groups.

He spoke out after residents raised concerns about problems in Fir Vale and Page Hall at a public meeting.

People living in both areas claimed crime is on the increase, litter is a big issue and that migrants have put pressures on schools and GP surgeries.

Residents also claim gangs of up to 50 at a time stand around on street corners for hours on end.

Mr Blunkett said: “The most enormous amount of work has been going into positive measures to turn round a situation which has developed over the last two or three years.

“I hope that those who are understandably concerned will turn that interest into being prepared to work with others in the community rather than grandstand.

“Every agency, including the police, who have an interest, are meeting weekly to develop the action programme which is beginning to work.

“The recent massive clear up which literally lifted over 60 tonnes from households as well as the streets and open spaces was a great success, and the follow through in changing the whole culture and how people treat the community is now the crucial challenge.

“The police have been magnificent. They’ve dealt with issues both robustly and with sensitivity, and are looking now with the council to a Section 30 Curfew and Dispersal Order which will contribute to dealing with anti-social behaviour, large gatherings and worries about intimidation.”

Mr Blunkett added: “It does take everyone to be prepared not just to criticise and stir up trouble but to recognise the genuine problems and to help all of us do something about it.”

“I have a simple rule of thumb. What you would not wish to put up with, I would not wish others to either. I’m following that mantra whether it’s on policing, cleaning up the streets or the schools, the majority of whom are joining together.”

South Yorkshire Police have stepped up patrols in the suburb and is considering introducing a Dispersal Order to break up gangs on streets.