McDonald's Sheffield: Fast-food restaurant referenced in more than 400 reported crimes over last three years

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McDonald’s restaurants in Sheffield have been referenced in more than 400 crimes reported to South Yorkshire Police in the last years, figures reveal.

Results of a Freedom of Information request show the constabulary received reports of a total of 423 alleged offences in which Sheffield and McDonald’s were mentioned in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Alleged offences included sexual assaults and an incident of kidnapping.

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McDonald's in Sheffield High Street.McDonald's in Sheffield High Street.
McDonald's in Sheffield High Street.

The Star launched an investigation to try and find out if there was a broader problem with crimes associated with McDonald’s restaurants after police and the council had to intervene following reports of persistent anti-social behaviour problems at an outlet in Handsworth in March.

McDonald's claimed the figures don’t provide an accurate indication of crimes happening within their restaurants as members of the public often use their branches as reference points when reporting an incident during a 999 call because they are recognisable landmarks.

The restaurant chain however acknowledged the ongoing issues in Handsworth and vowed to “work closely with the police and local community groups to help find resolutions” alongside introducing their own measures in a bid to reduce nuisance incidents.

The Star asked South Yorkshire Police to provide information showing the number of crimes reported to the force relating to incidents that have taken place at McDonald's restaurants in the last three calendar years.

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Police provided a spreadsheet showing more than 50 different categorised crimes reported over the last three years in which ‘Sheffield’ and ‘McDonald’s’ have been mentioned.

The figures revealed there were 179 crimes in total reported in 2019, 98 in 2020 and 146 in 2021.

The most commonly reported crime was assault without injury (common assault and battery) with 66, second was causing intentional harassment, alarm or distress (59) and then assault occasioning actual bodily harm (50).

An incident of kidnapping was reported in 2020, and there were four sexual assault of a female incidents recorded - two in 2019 and two in 2021.

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A McDonald’s spokesperson said: “The safety and security of our people and our customers is of the utmost importance to us and we have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to crime and anti-social behaviour in our restaurants.

"We strive to make our restaurants a safe and welcoming environment for all and work closely with our local community partners to help ensure this remains the case.”

In March, police took action to tackle anti-social behaviour blighting a McDonald’s in Handsworth by writing to the parents of those involved.

Parental advisory letters were issued to the mums and dads of seven youths believed to behind the ‘mindless’ behaviour’.

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McDonald’s said: “We are aware of the wider anti-social behaviour issues affecting the area, and continue to work closely with the Police and local community groups to help find resolutions, as well as implementing our own measures in restaurant such as turning off WIFI and playing classical music.”

A South Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: “Within the Sheffield district officers meet fortnightly to discuss emerging themes, risk and use the information to task officers according, in addition to this, monthly meetings also take place with inspectors and businesses within the city centre.

"We continue to work closely with business owners to understand problems faced at their establishments and provide advice for them to provide a safe environment for everyone to enjoy.”