Hundreds of police officers are taking part in a city-wide crackdown on drug dealing, human trafficking and homelessness in Sheffield today.
Four teams are in operation across the city carrying out property raids on drug dealers as well as supporting people made vulnerable as a result of drug dealing in their neighbourhood.
By midday four warrants had been executed in the Burngreave area of the city and 11 arrests had been made as part of Operation Duxford, a force-wide initiative.
Operation Duxford aims to improve links with the local community, identify and tackle criminal activity, and protect vulnerable people living in communities affected by crime.
The intelligence-led operation began early this morning and will continue late into the night.
Teams of officers and other specialist agencies including Trading Standards, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs officers, the Sheffield Drug and Alcohol Coordination Team (DACT), and Sheffield Council are carrying out warrants, business checks, housing visits, and community reassurance.
In addition to the drugs crackdown there are teams of South Yorkshire Police officers in the city centre all day to help rough sleepers, beggars and street drinkers, as well as those at risk of modern slavery in car washes, pop-up brothels and massage parlours.
Operation Duxford, the first phase of which was carried out in Barnsley in October, will also be brought to Doncaster and Rotherham.
Chief Constable Stephen Watson was keen to stress the importance of such operations.
He said: "It's most importantly something that I hope that the public will enjoy seeing."
He added: "I think as an organisation we are too reactive. We need to be more proactive, we need to get on the front foot, we need to stop stuff happening which we then have to react to."
At a mass morning briefing in the car park of Sheffield Arena, temporary Superintendent Simon Wanless told officers: "This is an opportunity today to demonstrate that South Yorkshire Police and all the partner agencies can deliver when we all come together and work collectively."
He added: "You'll be working with different agencies today - different people with different skills. Learn what they can give to us and what we can do to support them, because going forwards this is the future of how we need to work. We need to work collectively to help make Sheffield a safer place."
Sergeant Sarah Parker is heading the city centre community team working with Sheffield's rough sleepers.
She said: "It should be a good day. It's coming up to Christmas and we're just wanting to increase visibility. No one needs to be homeless in the city centre."
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