'I can see something exploding before long' - tensions rise over crime and antisocial behaviour in Sheffield suburb

Police on Hucklow Road in Firth Park
Police on Hucklow Road in Firth Park
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Drug-dealers and menacing moped riders revving their engines into the early hours are terrorising a Sheffield suburb, it has been claimed.

Terrified residents have demanded action to tackle the spiralling crime and antisocial behaviour they claim are turning parts of Firth Park into no-go zones for many people.

One man, who asked not to be named, said the scourge had been growing since last November when louts set off fireworks in Hucklow Drive and surrounding streets.

He said people were openly dealing and taking drugs in the area and racing mopeds and motorbikes until 1am.

Only the other day at around 5pm, he said he saw a group of around 20 youths gathered in West Quadrant, near the Labour Hall, one of whom shouted 'if you're going to fight, fight like a man and put your knife down'.

When police arrived, he said the youths were unperturbed and danced around the van laughing until the officers drove off without leaving the vehicle.

"We've called police numerous times to report crime and antisocial behaviour but nothing's being done. These people are just being left to do what they want," he said.

"It's got so bad that people are seeing these youths in the gennels and walking the other way because they find them so intimidating."

South Yorkshire Police say they are working with the council and community groups to address the concerns, and regularly patrol the area.

The force has also contacted Longley Park Sixth Form College, which some of the young people involved are believed to attend, and said staff there regularly advise students to be considerate to people living in the community.

Sergeant Lee Kayne, from Sheffield North East Local Policing Team, urged people to report non-emergency crimes online, call police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Mick Daniels, who is chairman of Brushes Tenants & Residents Association, said a meeting was being arranged to address what he described as growing problems with crime and antisocial behaviour, including fly-tipping.

He said the troubles stretched right up from Page Hall Road to Firth Park.

"People are starting to lose their tether and I can see something exploding before long if people start taking the law into their own hands," he said.

"We've had stabbings here and we've had shootings, but they're classed as one-off incidents. You get a little bit of bother in Burngreave and they bring in extra police."

Sheffield Council said it was working with police to address the issue and its staff had attended public meetings, carried out home visits and talked to students about their behaviour.

A spokeswoman for Longley Park Sixth Form College said: "We understand that there is a concern with the behaviour of young people generally in the local area. As a college, we work closely with local residents, South Yorkshire Police and Sheffield Council to educate our students about how to represent themselves and behave when they are out in the community.

"We are proud of the positive contribution our students make in the local area. The college has a team of community ambassadors who work tirelessly each week and have won both local and national awards for the impact they have made.

"The students were recently invited down to a celebration event at the Houses of Parliament, as part of the Great British Spring Clean, where they got to meet TV celebrity Kirstie Allsopp. On July 20, the students were awarded a Firth Park Community Award which recognised their contribution to the local community."