‘Sheffield is safe for night out,’ say police

Tributes left for Jon-Paul Smith at the spot where he was killed on West Street
Tributes left for Jon-Paul Smith at the spot where he was killed on West Street
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Police chiefs insist Sheffield remains safe for nights out – after a yob killed a man in a city centre attack.

They spoke out after Nathan Tomlinson, aged 24, of Haslam Crescent, Lowedges, admitted the manslaughter of student Anowar Tagabo, who was visiting the city for a wedding.

Sudanese-born Anowar, 25, who was studying at The University of Bradford, suffered severe head injuries after being punched once in an unprovoked attack on the corner of Carver Street and Division Street last May.

He was rushed to hospital but died nine days after the attack.

Last month 42-year-old Jon-Paul Smith, from Netherthorpe, also died after a city centre attack at the junction of West Street and Eldon Street.

And last November, Richard Ismail, 45, died after spending a year in hospital following an attack outside Lloyds bar in Division Street while on a night out with his family.

Superintendent Colin McFarlane, of South Yorkshire Police, said despite the number of fatal attacks the city remains one of the safest in the country.

He said the force invested heavily in policing the city centre at weekends when it is busy with revellers on nights out.

There are around 20 officers on duty each night over the weekends – patrolling the streets and monitoring trouble hotpots.

Supt McFarlane said: “Yes it is safe, you can never entirely remove the potential for violence when you have people in alcohol, it would be naive to say you could.

“In the last week Sheffield has been awarded the Purple Flag, national recognition for the way in which the city centre is run, from its businesses to the night time economy to policing operations – we are one of a few cities in the country to have been awarded that.

“I am quite confident we are a safe city but you can never say you will not get someone who will have a spontaneous fight with someone.”