Arrests made in knife crime and robbery crackdowns in Sheffield

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Drama as man arrested near Fargate, as The Star shadows police patrolling Sheffield city centre

The Star was a witness to real life crime drama on the streets of Sheffield - when a man was arrested as we shadowed a South Yorkshire Police patrol.

If you walk through Sheffield city centre this week, you should not be surprised if you spot police patrolling the streets.

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That is because the area has been targeted by South Yorkshire Police in a bid to address issues including robbery, with action launched this week.

Police carry out a search near Sheffield Town Hall. Picture: David Kessen, National WorldPolice carry out a search near Sheffield Town Hall. Picture: David Kessen, National World
Police carry out a search near Sheffield Town Hall. Picture: David Kessen, National World | National World

And The Star has seen for itself how the force is taking action with patrols to deal with crime in the city centre.

We went out with officers on patrol - and saw first hand what is happening as officers made an arrest at the top of Fargate.

Police launched Operation Calibre in the city on Monday, alongside the launch of a forcewide neighbourhood crime campaign.

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We met up with PC Waqaar Hussain, and his patrol partner, as dusk was just arriving across the city centre.

Police patrolling Fargate in Sheffield city centre as part of Operation Calibre. Picture: David Kessen, National WorldPolice patrolling Fargate in Sheffield city centre as part of Operation Calibre. Picture: David Kessen, National World
Police patrolling Fargate in Sheffield city centre as part of Operation Calibre. Picture: David Kessen, National World | National World

He explained they were looking to deter robbery in hot spot areas, and we would be patrolling around Fargate and High Street.

Throughout the week of action, the force is looking to target habitual offenders and take them off the streets. There will be focus on the different strands of education, engagement, prevention, and enforcement, all of which are important in playing a part to reduce neighbourhood crime.

He said Fargate and High Street were areas which officers patrolled a lot, with the large number of people regularly in that area due to the trams and bus stops.

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It didn't take long for the officers to be called on. After meeting me at 4pm, their attention was taken 15 minutes later, by shouting.

Police take a suspect to their car at Barker's Pool in Sheffield city centre, during an Operation Calibre patrol. Picture: David Kessen, National WorldPolice take a suspect to their car at Barker's Pool in Sheffield city centre, during an Operation Calibre patrol. Picture: David Kessen, National World
Police take a suspect to their car at Barker's Pool in Sheffield city centre, during an Operation Calibre patrol. Picture: David Kessen, National World | National World

A man on the other side of the street was loudly shouting obscenities. Clearly angry, you could see the public was alarmed by what was going on.

The officers, in uniform and high vis, crossed over to speak to him. A few minutes later they returned, with the man going on his way quietly.

PC Hussain explained that he had 'engaged' with him, speaking to him, and finding out what the problem was. It is understood the man was angry over a friend's personal circumstances, which involved a medical condition, that he was struggling to get assistance with. They did not feel the public were in danger.

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He said they had made him aware of organisations that may be able to help.

With the incident dealt with, the patrol moved on, heading along Campo Lane, back to High Street and then up Fargate.

Police take a man away after an arrest in Sheffield city centre during Operation Calibre. Picture: David Kessen, National WorldPolice take a man away after an arrest in Sheffield city centre during Operation Calibre. Picture: David Kessen, National World
Police take a man away after an arrest in Sheffield city centre during Operation Calibre. Picture: David Kessen, National World | National World

By 4.30pm, there was more 'engagement', this time near Sheffield Town Hall - and this time with a less happy outcome.

Seeing a man who appeared worse for wear, the officers approached him to see if he was all right. As discussions continued, it became apparent something was amiss.

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The man, it emerged, was wanted for a breach of a court order. To angry protestations, he was handcuffed and searched. Officers appeared to be taking some packages from him.

He was walked away, towards a patrol car, parked at the corner of Barker's Pool.

It was the second arrest they had made in two days on patrol. On Monday, they said they had searched a man who had told them he was in possession of drugs, on High Street.

The search revealed what the officers described as a 'machete'. They said he had subsequently been remanded to court.

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With dark falling over Sheffield, our walk with the police came to an end, as the officers had to deal with the arrest. They continued to deal with the man they had searched, with much of their shift still ahead of them.

Pc Waqaar Hussain and David Kessen, before The Star shadowed a South Yorkshire Police patrol. Picture: David Kessen, National WorldPc Waqaar Hussain and David Kessen, before The Star shadowed a South Yorkshire Police patrol. Picture: David Kessen, National World
Pc Waqaar Hussain and David Kessen, before The Star shadowed a South Yorkshire Police patrol. Picture: David Kessen, National World | National World

Operation Calibre is not the only police operation going on at present.

Although not connected to the patrol we shadowed, the force this week revealed a number of arrests through Operation Sceptre, a 'proactive operation to combat knife crime' in South Yorkshire.

They have announced that the operation has already seen five arrests since it started, also on Monday.

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Just hours after the launch of Operation Sceptre, a number of men, who had been wanted in connection with knife crime offences, were in custody after a series of warrants were executed.

South Yorkshire Police said a 17-year-old wanted teenager from Sheffield was arrested on suspicion of possession of a knife and drug offences, with a 21-year-old wanted man from Rotherham also arrested after a foot chase in which he was pursued by officers.

He was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply drugs, dangerous driving and failing to stop.

Operation Sceptre also saw a 37-year-old man from Sheffield, who had been wanted on suspicion of possession of a knife, detained by officers on Monday (November 13) and a 29-year-old from Sheffield accused of slashing someone in the face with a bladed article and wanted in connection with a robbery was also arrested.

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A fifth arrest saw a 22-year-old Doncaster man accused of possessing an offensive weapon arrested after failing to attend court.

Operation Sceptre is a week-long campaign that takes place twice a year to detect, prevent and reduce knife crime in South Yorkshire's local communities.

PC Mark Lovell, whose policing team targets violent crime in hotspot areas in South Yorkshire, said: "Operation Sceptre builds on the momentum we have all year round to tackling knife crime and these significant arrests is a really encouraging start to the week of action."

He added: "We are building more and more intelligence on people we know are habitually carrying knives in South Yorkshire and we are more determined than ever to get these violent individuals and their dangerous weapons off our streets for good."