Concerns raised over why funding to tackle violent crime has been given to some Sheffield neighbourhoods, but not others

A Sheffield councillor has questioned why funding to tackle violent crime has been given to some neighbourhoods and not others.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 11:45 am

The South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit has received £1.6m from the Government to tackle crime and its causes.

Eight community groups have received funding to support their work with young people but Coun Dawn Dale, cabinet advisor for children and families, said a number of neighbourhoods had missed out.

She told a council meeting: “This is a project close to my heart having been a community development worker for 18 years in some of the most deprived communities and also representing Shiregreen and Brightside ward.

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“It appears that a lot of the £1.6m has been spent on gathering data and looking at strategy.

“The report says it’s really important we get communities involved but looking at the small amounts of money available for community involvement, it worries me a lot.

“I’ve looked at the groups and I know many of them, and know they are doing amazing work, but there’s not much money going into communities where we have most of the problems.

“There’s nothing going into Norfolk Park, Manor Castle, Parson Cross or Shiregreen so how was the decision made about where some of this money went?

“I know communities are stretched, they are being ripped apart, they have less and less money and a lot of the work done is goodwill by local people.

“Who is advocating and ensuring that those small community groups who are doing all the work are getting access to some of this funding? It feels the community element is a bit of an afterthought.

“I’m not convinced the money has gone into the right areas and moving forward I hope we can do that differently.”

Supt Lee Berry, who is heading up the unit, said there had been a process for community groups to make bids.

He said: “We are trying to map what communities are out there, what they are doing, how effective it is and how we can help them continue to deliver.

“We try to make sure each area gets that support but the quality of the bid to reduce violence was the driver.”