Carver Street Sheffield: Call for metal detector checkpoints to tackle violence on party street

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Anthony Olaseinde, boss of knife crime charity Always An Alternative, wants security beefed up on Sheffield's party street

A knife crime expert and campaigner has called for a major improvement in security to halt violence in one of Sheffield's most notorious knife crime hotspots.

Anthony Olaseinde has recommended metal detectors be installed at both ends of Carver Street as part of a raft of measures he believes will have a profound impact on combating violent crime.

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He told The Star: "The metal detectors will detect the knives. People need to look at metal detectors as something for safety. It doesn't mean trouble, it prevents trouble."

As part of the security professional's recommendations, Carver Street would be completely closed off while people enjoy the city centre nightlife, with only one entrance at each end and a metal detector on both of those. There would also be one separate exit at each end.

The entrances to Carver Street and the metal detectors would be manned by security teams, with two dedicated South Yorkshire Police officers stationed inside the boundaries, he suggests.

The closure would only start after the Carver Street car park, so people could still access their vehicles.

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Knife crime campaigner and security professional, Anthony Olaseinde, has shared recommendations he believes will help tackle the knife crime crisis on Carver Street. (Photo courtesy of Dean Atkins)Knife crime campaigner and security professional, Anthony Olaseinde, has shared recommendations he believes will help tackle the knife crime crisis on Carver Street. (Photo courtesy of Dean Atkins)
Knife crime campaigner and security professional, Anthony Olaseinde, has shared recommendations he believes will help tackle the knife crime crisis on Carver Street. (Photo courtesy of Dean Atkins) | Dean Atkins

Anthony has repeatedly shared his desire to meet with South Yorkshire Police, Sheffield City Council and Sheffield BID (Business Improvement District) to discuss his ideas for effectively combating city centre violence. He believes businesses that are part of the Carver Street nightime economy should pay for the security measures.

He said: "The violence is very, very bad... I think if you talk to [the businesses] and you look at the amount of violence there, they will understand why."

Anthony said the short-term expenditure of setting up the security would translate to long-term success. The measures would reduce the levels of violence, making people feel safer in the area and bringing even bigger crowds back to Carver Street.

Carver Street has seen a number of violent incidents involving knives recently. (Photo: archive image)Carver Street has seen a number of violent incidents involving knives recently. (Photo: archive image)
Carver Street has seen a number of violent incidents involving knives recently. (Photo: archive image)

He said: "I've spoken with people who avoid Carver Street now because of the violence."

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Anthony set up Always An Alternative in order to keep young people away from gangs and knife crime. He believes one of the reasons Carver Street is seeing so much violence could be due to its popularity with young people.

Last Saturday (September 9), emergency services were called to reports that a man had been stabbed on Carver Street. Shortly afterwards, a second report came in stating someone had been hit by a car in the same location.

Anthony Olaseinde believes security on Carver Street needs to be improved, and wants the street's nightlife businesses to pay for it. (Photo courtesy of Dean Atkins)Anthony Olaseinde believes security on Carver Street needs to be improved, and wants the street's nightlife businesses to pay for it. (Photo courtesy of Dean Atkins)
Anthony Olaseinde believes security on Carver Street needs to be improved, and wants the street's nightlife businesses to pay for it. (Photo courtesy of Dean Atkins) | Dean Atkins

Three men were taken to hospital with stab wounds and three other men were arrested on suspicion of wounding and violent disorder.

It was the latest violent incident to have rocked this crime-plagued area of the city centre.

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He said: "Knife crime is more prevalent with young people compared to older people. It is because they aren't aware of the effects of carrying a knife."

A common misconception is that carrying a knife provides protection, however, statistics suggest carrying a blade actually makes you more likely to face violence.

Anthony said: "People are finally accepting we have a very, very big problem with knife crime. A 14-year-old boy was stabbed outside the Town Hall and [authorities] will have to do something about this now, or I hope they will."

On Tuesday, September 12, a 14-year-old boy was stabbed in the neck outside Sheffield Town Hall, the home of Sheffield City Council. The boy was rushed to Sheffield Children's Hospital, where he is in a stable condition.

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South Yorkshire Police has previously responded to concerns about the level of crime, particularly offences stemming from the use of a blade, on Carver Street, and what the force is doing to combat it.

Speaking at the end of April 2023, Chief Inspector for Neighbourhoods at Sheffield District, Gareth Thomas, said: “We acknowledge that when violent crimes happen it is extremely concerning for our local communities, and we have sadly seen a number of serious incidents occur on Carver Street in recent years. We are as appalled as anyone when these violent crimes occur in our city, and like many of our policing colleagues across the country, tackling violent criminality continues to be a priority. We have robust plans in place to tackle the ongoing issues we experience in our night time economy, and a great deal of work is currently taking place, proactively and at pace, to tackle violent crime as a whole.

“We have recruited additional Sergeants, PCs and PCSOs into our City Centre Neighbourhood Policing Team and bespoke shift patterns have been designed to provide additional coverage into the night time economy. They are deployed to busy, key locations within the city centre, such as Carver Street.

“Through Operation Steel, our monthly days of action in Sheffield city centre, we also regularly deploy significant resources from across the force into the city centre and night time economy, to tackle issues in specific localities. We also regularly deliver Operation Sentinel in the area, which is our dedicated operation to identify predatory behaviour in the night time economy and safeguard vulnerable people.”

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Chf Insp Thomas said that funding from the Home Office’s ‘Grip’ programme has been used to deliver a ‘hotspot policing’ initative across South Yorkshire, involving officers ‘operating regular foot patrols in micro-locations’.