OPINION: Violence is exception

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The discovery of a body in a field in Hackenthorpe has left this Sheffield community in shock. The case is being treated as murder and that is a word we all fear.

This case is particularly disturbing as it appears to be without motive. So no wonder residents are disturbed. Suddenly, their haven is filled with police, sirens wailing and search teams in place. A cordon keeps them from the playing field which had been theirs.

But this presence should be a reassurance.

The police response to the murder of Simon Holdsworth has been swift and the thoroughness with which they are operating is to be commended.

Now it is important to put this incident in context.

Our thoughts are with Mr Holdsworth’s family. He was a popular man and we cannot imagine the pain his loved ones are suffering. We would also urge anyone who saw anything to contact police.

Mr Holdsworth was a Hackenthorpe man and residents have told The Star that the area is a fantastic place to live in. They have never witnessed such scenes in their lives.

That is how it should be and how it will be once the police have finished their business.

Sheffield remains the safest city in the country because these incidents are the exception not the rule.

Government figures show we have the lowest crime rate of the country’s eight biggest cities. Violent crimes per 1,000 people in Sheffield last year numbered 10.59 incidents - and those resulting in injury accounted for half that, at 4.89 incidents per 1,000 people.

It’s important to remember this when there is a violent incident. We are not used to violence and so are shocked by it.

One of the reasons for our low crime rate is good community work and it is this that spared Sheffield the riots which hit other cities in August 2011.

The feeling of safety is why people continue to flock here, particularly students who are so key to our economy.

We do not underestimate the impact of the murder case in Hackenthorpe, but it is important to keep it in perspective.