VIDEO: A crime every 15 minutes in Sheffield: top hotspots exposed

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A crime was reported every 15 minutes in Sheffield last year – with the city centre, Darnall and Burngreave hotspots for offences.

A crime was reported every 15 minutes in Sheffield last year – with the city centre, Darnall and Burngreave hotspots for offences.

Crime scene in Sheffield

Crime scene in Sheffield

Figures obtained in a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by The Star under the Your Right To Know campaign show there were 103.8 crimes reported every day in Sheffield in 2014-15.

The figure equates to an average of four offences every hour.

Five murders, six kidnappings and 54 threats to kill are among almost 38,000 crimes reported in Sheffield between April 2014 and March 2015.

Shoplifting, assault and public order offences are among the biggest increases, while burglary, theft from vehicles and theft from person all fell.

Crime scene in Sheffield

Crime scene in Sheffield

Other areas in the top 10 for crime include Broomhill, Sharrow and Gleadless Valley.

Sheffield city centre, Burngreave and Darnall are the top three worst areas for reported crime – while Stannington, Beighton and Birley have the lowest crime rates in the city.

Figures obtained under by The Star’s Your Right To Know campaign reveal the top and bottom 10 areas for crime city between April 2014 and March 2015.

The overall crime rate has increased one per cent year-on-year – but is down 6.3 per cent over three years.

Southey

Southey

A total of 2,855 crimes were reported in Darnall in 2014-15, including 148 burglaries, 414 shoplifting reports, two kidnappings and a murder. The area was the top of the crime league outside the city centre.

Darnall councillor Mahzer Iqbal said the inclusion of Meadowhall and several retail parks in the area ‘skewed’ the statistics, but admitted the area has been battling issues with anti-social behaviour.

He said: “Of course in Darnall ward we have Meadowhall and Centertainment which skews figures on things like car break-ins and shoplifting.

“We have had some problems with ASB around the Stovin estate and there is work ongoing in that area.

Firth Park

Firth Park

“I haven’t been contacted by anyone who is particularly concerned about crime in the area.

“Nobody in my ward has come up to me and said ‘crime is what we are worried about’.

Coun Iqbal added that police resources are a key issue. He said: “There was a shop owner in Tinsley recently who had his store burgled, but because the culprit was gone, police didn’t turn up for eight hours.

“When resources are cut, it makes their job a lot more difficult.”

Stannington was the area with the lowest crime rate – just 516 crimes were reported in the ward in 2014-15.

Stannington councillor Vickie Priestley said the figures were due to the ‘hard work’ that has gone into the area.

Manor

Manor

She said: “It’s great news. The people of Stannington can be very proud they have such a safe place to live, the safest in the city. That’s something for them to be thankful for.”

‘CONTENT’ WITH CRIME PICTURE - THE POLICE VIEW

South Yorkshire Police today said it is ‘content’ with how crime is being tackled across Sheffield – with a drop in burglary and car crime showing how its hard work is paying off.

Across the city, burglary has dropped by 21 per cent over three years, while car break-ins are down 34 per cent in the same timeframe.

South Yorkshire Police Chief Inspector for Sheffield city centre operations Jayne Forrest said: “By using the resources that we have in a more corporate way we are able to improve and enhance the service.

“I’m content with where we are at the moment.

“If you look at things that affect people like burglary and vehicle crime being down, it’s a very positive picture.

“If we were looking at a big increase in domestic burglary, it would be a different conversation.”

Chf Insp Forrest the slight recent increase in overall crime was due to a change in crime recording.

She said: “All forces have reported a slight increase, but if you compare us to our closest comparable forces, ours is the smallest increase.

“What used to happen was that somebody would ring us and report a crime and we would send an officer to investigate who would crime it or no-crime it.

“Now at first we crime it and give them a reference number and if it’s not a crime, we no-crime it later.”

She added that drops in crimes like burglary were due to more ‘effective’ policing, despite funding cuts.

“I’m a big believer in ‘you can’t measure what you prevent’,” she said.

Chf Insp Forrest added: “We have worked hard with our partners to tackle theft, to assess where these crimes are happening.

“We have toughened up on vehicle crime, coupled with improvements in car security systems, and offender management programmes now include vehicle crime offenders.

“Anyone who does offend is dealt with swiftly and expeditiously.

“We monitor burglars being released from prison very carefully, with a view to rehabilitation but also management.

“We have worked with the council to replace locks with more secure ones on council properties.

“We are taking more of a predictive approach in relation to the data we can produce that can anticipate a crime spree.

“Putting people in the right place at the right time in the right number is an effective tactic.”

The recent surge in shoplifting, Chf Insp Forrest added, could be because criminals are now turning to other types of offending after police work on burglary and car crime.

She added: “After the work we have done around vehicle crime and burglary, shoplifting has become a slightly new outlet for their crime.

“We are educating store detectives and upgrading city centre CCTV and patrols.”

She also added that increases in public order offences and obscene publications are actually a positive for the force.

Chf Insp Forrest added: “The increase in public order offences is to be celebrated. It doesn’t mean there is any more public disorder, it just means more of it is being dealt with.

“That tells us we are putting our night-time patrols in the right places to find and tackle public order.”

She said the impending force restructure will further improve policing across the city.

Chf Insp Forrest added: “The austerity cuts have forced us to reconsider our approach to policing, which is why we are undergoing a major restructure on September 28.

“Neighbourhood areas are being combined into larger teams and we have reconfigured all the shifts.

“We have undertaken some deep analysis on ASB and burglary at key times so we can deploy more officers at those times.

“It allows more flexibility to put officers where they are needed.

“By using the resources that we have in a more corporate way we are able to improve and enhance the service.”

THE STATS - HOW DOES YOUR AREA FARE?

TOP 10 AREAS - NUMBER OF CRIMES FROM APRIL 2014 TO MARCH 2015:

1 City centre 5,586

2 Darnall 2,855

3 Burngreave 2,668

4 Manor Castle 1,764

5 Firth Park 1,668

6 Southey 1,663

7 Sharrow 1,610

8 Gleadless Valley 1,341

9 Broomhill 1,289

10 Arbourthorne 1,242

BOTTOM 10 AREAS - NUMBER OF CRIMES FROM APRIL 2014 to MARCH 2015:

1 Stannington 516

2 Beighton 521

3 Birley 664

4 Dore 676

5 Fulwood 688

6 Stocksbridge 729

7 West Ecclesfield 737

8 Crookes 823

9 Graves Park 824

10 Mosborough 932

TO SEE WHAT CRIMES WERE COMMITTED IN EACH AREA, PICK UP THE STAR TODAY