A ‘one man mission’ to reclaim a community’s streets from vandals is not the answer to antisocial behaviour problems, a councillor has said.
A group of community leaders in the Abbeydale Road area, led by South Sheffield Community Empowerment Project volunteer Shahid Ali, announced on Tuesday that they are uniting to tackle ASB including intimidating behaviour, drug taking, racial abuse and vandalism.
Mr Ali said people were ‘horrified’ at antisocial behaviour ‘getting worse and worse’, after police were forced to deal with youths hurling fireworks on Bonfire Night.
Three policemen were injured – one seriously – as they clashed with louts hurling fireworks. More than 40 officers were called to the area. Five teenagers were arrested on suspicion of disorder.
But Sheffield Nether Edge councillor Nikki Bond has responded to Mr Ali, saying that the community has already been working to tackle the issues for several years.
She said: “A look back through the archives of Sheffield Star over the past three years will reveal a plethora of stories about the work that’s been done to tackle anti-social behaviour in the Abbeydale Corridor.
“Contrary to the claims of Mr Ali, work to address this problem has been ongoing for a number of years.
“This doesn’t need to be a ‘one man mission’ because there are already lots of people working together.”
She added: “Indeed, Mr Ali has attended many of the meetings that have happened in the community over the past few years.”
Coun Bond pointed to a letter from local councillors, written in Urdu and English, sent to 2,000 households in Abbeydale which outlined action being taken.
She added that councillors have invested in youth provisions and new schemes.
She said: “Investment in youth provision has been a top priority and there are a variety of activities for young people in the area.
“The youth club is due to reopen in St Peters Common Ground in the New Year after Nether Edge Councillors allocated funds from the ward pot to help get repairs done to bring the building up to scratch.”
She added that councillors and police are also working on an order to tackle ASB.
“Abbeydale is a vibrant and diverse ward and community engagement is extremely important.”