Baseball bat and crowbar found hidden in Sheffield park just days after attacks

Police found a baseball bat and crowbar within minutes of starting a search of a Sheffield park near where two serious attacks were carried out over the weekend.

Tuesday, 2nd April 2019, 2:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd April 2019, 4:56 pm

Officers from the Sharrow and Abbeydale neighbourhood policing team carried out open land searches of Mount Pleasant Park on Tuesday – just hours after two attacks in or around the park.

A team of around 20 officers took part in the searches, which were carried out as part of a week of action in Sharrow in the hope of reducing crime and antisocial behaviour.

A stash of pornography was also found hidden in a bush.

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Police carry out an open land search in Mount Pleasant Park, off Abbeydale Road. Picture Scott Merrylees

Sgt Ross Greenwood, of the Sharrow and Abbeydale police team, said: “It’s obviously early days but it’s been fairly well received from the public and everyone seems to be aware of what we’re doing.

“As the week goes on the level of activity will increase and today is the key day in terms of enforcement action where we are looking for prohibited items – be it weapons, drugs or anything that shouldn't be there.”

Officers split into different teams – each led by a member of South Yorkshire Police’s task team – to conduct the search.

And it was a matter of minutes before one found a baseball bat and crowbar hidden in bushes alongside a footpath near the Highfield Adventure Playground.

Police carry out an open land search in Mount Pleasant Park off Abbeydale Road. Picture Scott Merrylees

Another issue was also evident in the area – litter but Sgt Greenwood said that would be addressed on Friday.

He said: “The open land search will be followed up with a litter pick on Friday and we are asking everyone to come and support that.

“We are meeting at the Highfield Adventure Playground at around 1.30pm.”

The searches came less than 48 hours after a man was found seriously injured close to the park.

Police carry out an open land search in Mount Pleasant Park off Abbeydale Road. Picture Scott Merrylees

The 18-year-old man was discovered in Sharrow Lane, close to Mount Pleasant Park, Sharrow, at around 4.20pm on Sunday.

South Yorkshire Police said he had a serious head injury and was taken to hospital and he remained in a critical condition on Tuesday.

The force also said a man was also seriously assaulted near the park on Friday.

Crime scene investigators examined the area over the weekend.

Police carry out an open land search in Mount Pleasant Park off Abbeydale Road. Picture Scott Merrylees

Sgt Greenwood added: “It’s timely but this week has been long-planned and I do hope people feel reassured by seeing us today.

“What I would say is that we can only do so much and we need to know from people who is responsible for what’s going on and I would ask people to come and speak to us when they see us.”

A series of other events will be held in Sharrow throughout the rest of the week, including a gun and knife crime talk and workshop on Wednesday at the Highfield Adventure Playground from 2pm.

A drugs awareness session will also be held at the playground on Thursday.

Jonathan Roberts, chief executive officer at Sharrow Community Forum, said: “It’s a lot of work that we are doing together with the police and other statutory services to get people engaged in activities.

“There are local organisations that obviously want to advertise what they are doing but the response we’ve had has been great. I think it’s great that everyone has wanted to get involved.”

The week of action ends with the 16th annual Sharrow Lantern Festival on Sunday, April 7.

It begins in Mount Pleasant Park at 7.30pm, ready for the parade at 8pm and finishes in the General Cemetery at 9pm.

Anyone in Sharrow at the time of Sunday’s incident and who saw what happened should call South Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 485 of March 31 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.