HEADLINE - Arrests made in crackdown on crime in Sheffield
Four arrests were made for immigration offences in Sheffield in a crackdown on crime in the city centre.
Police officers visited a number of premises on Saturday night to speak to staff, check their immigration status and whether they were legally allowed to live and work in the UK.
Officers worked with a range of agencies in the crackdown, aimed at tackling violent crime in the city centre, drug-related crime, trafficking and antisocial behaviour.
On Friday night they spoke to 16 people about begging and associated anti-social behaviour.
The night before they carried out an operation where children were sent into bars looking for staff serving underage customers.
They carried out some vehicle and taxi checks and a drug dog was used to root out those carrying illegal substances.
A knife arch was also used to check that those on nights out were not armed.
Temporary Chief Superintendent Shaun Morley, said: “We have been working hard across the force and with other agencies to combat violent crime, particularly in Sheffield and particularly in the night-time economy.
“Going into the weekend, we wanted to execute a really hard-hitting operation that could tackle a range of issues and reassure the public that we are absolutely committed to driving down crime and keeping Sheffield safe.
“To achieve this, on Thursday last week we started with test purchase operations at a number of shops and premises across the city centre. This is to check whether shops will sell alcohol to underage people without checking for ID.
“Of the dozen or so premises we visited, three failed and they will now be subject to more rigorous and regular checks.”
Acting Inspector Louise Lambert, who oversaw the weekend’s activity, added: “Saturday was the biggest stage of our operation and we had a wide range of activity with some real success.
“We carried out a taxi-vehicle operation with the support of our traffic officers. This saw a couple of cars seized for having no insurance or tax, a number of Fixed Penalty Notices issued and several taxi licences removed.
“We continued to engage with street beggars and carry out some early intervention to establish what support those individuals may require, as well as having plain clothes officers patrolling the city centre to gather intelligence about crime or those engaging in crime, for us to pursue at a later date.
“We also had a drugs dog working in the city centre on Saturday, who carried out numerous searches throughout the day. He was able to sniff out several cannabis users who were issued with warnings and small quantities of the drug were seized by our officers.”
Insp Lambert added: “The knife arch was a real hit with the public on Saturday night and we had lots of positive feedback that it made everyone feel much safer.
"Even though we didn’t find anything, that means people didn’t bring any dangerous items or weapons into the city centre that night, which can only be a good thing.
“For the first time on Saturday, we also monitored how door staff and licensed premises responded to individuals who were clearly very drunk. Someone who is very drunk is potentially more at risk of becoming a victim of crime or engaging in crime themselves, so it was reassuring to see that of the individuals we were monitoring, all licensed premises refused to serve them any more alcohol.
"Door staff were robust in checking ID and those individuals then left the area, hopefully reducing the risk they posed to themselves and others.”
Chief Supt Morley added: “This was a significant operation over three days and I’m grateful to all of our staff, and those at partner agencies, who worked together to achieve these results.
“Operations like this are really important to demonstrate to the public that we do not tolerate crime in any form in Sheffield and I hope the wide range of activities highlights our commitment to tackle criminality of any kind.
“We are here to ensure that your city centre is the safest place it can be, to protect vulnerable people and to arrest anyone who commits crime and makes people feel unsafe.
“This is by no means the end of our work and we hope to carry out more operations like this in future.”