Sheffield council vows to crack down on estate yobs

Councillor Harry Harpham.
Councillor Harry Harpham.
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Residents in a Sheffield suburb have complained their lives are blighted by drunken neighbours who shout, scream and ‘threaten to shoot or stab each other’.

Sheffield Council has pledged ‘immediate action’ by housing officials and police to crack down on the problem, in the Derby Street area of Heeley.

But residents have called on the council to provide better vetting of tenants to prevent problems occurring.

One resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “What is the council’s policy on placing junkies and druggies on ‘nice’ estates primarily occupied by elderly people.

“There’s constant drunken behaviour and the language is foul and so loud you can hear it outside – that’s when they are not congregating boozing on the landing at all times of day and night.

The resident added that the emergency services have frequently been called to deal with problems at the address.

“What steps do the council take to vet tenants, who decides why it is needed to put such people onto previously peaceful estates?”

Coun Harry Harpham, Sheffield Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for housing, said: “We are taking immediate action and will be visiting the block to talk to residents as well as linking up with the policing team in the area so that we can work together, share any relevant information and take action.

“Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated and we will do everything we can to stamp this out.

“We take our responsibilities in this area very seriously and we want to make sure that all of our tenants feel secure in their homes. I’d encourage anyone out there experiencing problems to contact 101 and report incidents so we can work together to keep our city safe.”

Action pledged:

Sheffield Council and Sheffield Homes said there are around 6,000 cases of anti-social behaviour dealt with annually.

Many cases are resolved without legal action but the council has pledged it will take tenants to court and seek eviction where problems persist.

The authority said it carries out background checks on tenants ‘at the point of registration’ – including whether the applicant has a history of anti-social behaviour.

The council said it is tightening its allocations policy from next April to ensure council tenants also have to produce two references before applying for accommodation.