Residents call for lighting in popular Sharrow Vale shortcut in the wake of attacks

Jess Cambridge said she would feel safer if there was lighting or a camera installed in an alley near her work on Ecclesall Road.
Jess Cambridge said she would feel safer if there was lighting or a camera installed in an alley near her work on Ecclesall Road.
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Residents of a Sheffield suburb are calling for lighting to be installed in an alleyway they say people are too afraid to use at night.

The calls come in the wake of attacks and attempted robberies in the short snicket between Ecclesall Road and Neill Road in Sharrow Vale.

One woman, walking to her car, was followed by two hooded men who attempted to snatch her bag and then gain access to her vehicle after her shift at a nearby veterinarian practice.

Jess Cambridge, 23, said she was lucky to escape unharmed when the incident happened on a dark February night.

The Penistone resident was on her way from the Hunters Bar Veterinary Clinic to her car on Neill Road at about 7.45pm when two men appeared from an alcove in the dark alley.

Miss Cambridge said she considered turning around, but decided to push on and try and get past the men.

They attempted to snatch her bag before following Miss Cambridge to her car, which was 'two or three doors' from the end of the alley.

Miss Cambridge said she took matters into her own hands in order to get away.

"I pushed one down the kerb," she said.

"I saw that as a fair opportunity to get in my car and drive off."

The men tried to open the doors and the boot before she drove away.

Miss Cambridge said her self defence training meant she felt safer than many people would in that situation.

The staff at the centre now walk each other to their cars when it's dark.

Nearby residents say they are simply too frightened to use the shortcut between the two streets.

One man, who doesn't want to be named. said he knew three people who have had incidents in the area.

He is calling for a light to be installed in the alley.

"All it would take is one lamppost," he said.

"Thousands of people use that alleyway every day."

Miss Cambridge agreed, She said she would feel safer if a light or security camera was installed.

A Sheffield Council spokesman said the snicket was not within the highway boundary, and that Streets Ahead had no record of a request for street lighting in the area.

The alley is on land co-owned by the Well Church and the University of Sheffield.

Reverend Nick Allen said the alley was not a public right of way.

"But we recognise it as a popular cut-through for local residents," he said.

"Whatever we are able to do to help make it safer, we will."