City centre could be left without its own officer

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SHEFFIELD city centre could be left without its own dedicated safer neighbourhood team officer, a residents’ group fears.

Worried members of Sheffield City Centre Community Forum are writing to Sheffield Council to express their concerns after a meeting heard of proposals to reduce from 10 to six the number of SNT officers working in community assembly areas.

The changes would save £142,000.

Forum members praised the work of current city centre safer neighbourhood officer Phil Ashford, and said problems like graffiti and anti-social behaviour were already a problem on their streets which Phil was working hard to tackle.

Peter Sephton said: “Phil knows every inch of the city centre - everything that happens and everyone that goes in. If there’s a man begging somewhere, Phil will know his name.

“I’m going to write to the council and say we don’t think it’s appropriate to not have a safer neighbourhood officer specifically for the city centre.”

Residents were urged to contact the council to voice their own objections. Green councillor Jillian Greasy, who represents Central ward, added: “I agree. I think it really won’t work.”

Revising the purpose of the safer neighbourhood team officer posts is also proposed by the council.

* SHEFFIELD City Centre Community Forum is relaunching - and members are urging city centre residents to join their ranks. A draft constitution has been drawn up to create a new Sheffield City Centre Residents’ Action Group, open to residents as well as representatives from businesses and organisations who are interested in contributing to the future of the city centre.

Its next meeting is on March 13 at the Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind building on Mappin Street, from 6.30pm.