I can speak on behalf of a number of residents on Batt Street in expressing disappointment at the negative and inaccurate depiction of Batt Street, with photographs featuring under the headline ‘Sheffield residents ‘will take law into own hands’ over criminal teen street gang, police warned’ on both the online and paper versions of The Star on Tuesday.
You included no quotes from residents and there was no attempt by your team to contact any of us to find out our views before portraying Batt Street as the epicentre of the anti-social behaviour described.
While I do not question the increase in reported crime described in the article over a significant area of Highfields and Nether Edge, nor that these concerns and complaints are very serious, we find your choice of our friendly street to illustrate your article inconsistent with our experiences.
There is sometimes noise, often litter and the odd teenager with a bad attitude, but we regularly join together as a street to look after the green across from our houses and have also held street parties.
Our children play out on the street and on the green and we look out for one another if problems do arise.
We are certainly not planning to take the law into our own hands against a ‘criminal teen street gang’.
It is a shame to have the place we live so misrepresented in this way.
Batt Street is a lovely place to live with real community spirit.
Ms M Kilner
Batt Street, Sheffield, S8
Footnote: There was no specific or intentional focus on Batt Street in the article – it is one of four road names visible in the photographs in the paper, and one of nine roads listed in the article (road names which come from South Yorkshire Police’s Public Spaces Protection Order). Indeed, Batt Street itself is not mentioned in the piece until 13 paragraphs in, on the inside piece.
It is used as one of the online photos, but there is no specific reason for this.
The reporter did speak to residents at the meeting but he chose to focus on the police’s reasonings behind the order and quotes from a councillor present.