Knives seized and five arrested as police blitz Sheffield crime hot spot

Police made five arrests as they blitzed a Sheffield neighbourhood where crime and anti-social behaviour threaten to undermine a recent revival in its fortunes.

Friday, 30th August 2019, 8:56 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd September 2019, 2:20 pm

Castlegate had become one of the city centre's more down-at-heel districts, especially since the closure of the old Castle Market, before enjoying a recent renaissance with the opening of trendy food hall Kommune, the arrival of the National Videogame Museum and the promise of further investment, such as the exciting plans just announced for a new marketplace, hotel and upmarket apartments at the dilapidated Old Town Hall.

However, businesses in the area had complained about anti-social behaviour drug dealing and drug use, which it was feared could derail the resurgence.

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Haymarket, in the Castlegate area of Sheffield (pic: Google)

Neighbourhood officers teamed up with South Yorkshire Police's Serious Violent Crime Taskforce (SVCTF) on Wednesday to address those concerns with a day of action targeting drugs and anti-social behaviour.

Five people were arrested on the day, for a range of offences including burglary, common assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Officers also stopped and searched 31 people, recovering two knives and issuing a number of cannabis warnings and cautions.

Inspector John Mallows, from the force's Central & North West Neighbourhood Team, said: "There is a huge amount of proactive work going on in this area and it was great to have the SVCTF join us on Wednesday.

"We have been working really hard in recent months to improve things around Haymarket, King Street and Angel Street, as there have been some very real concerns from businesses and the public about ASB, drug dealing and drug use.

"The area is currently attracting a lot of investment and interest, with some fantastic new businesses springing up; we want those people to stay, and to do that we need to get a grip on certain issues.

"The team have secured new CCTV cameras for the area and have helped establish the ‘Castlegate ASB & Crime Liaison Group’ who meet once a month, raising any ongoing issues with officers.

"A key issue that keeps coming up is around street-begging and the issues this can cause. We are of course taking the time to signpost people to support services, but we’re also using enforcement powers, such as Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBOs), where necessary."