Police praised for sending Serious Violent Crime Taskforce into Sheffield suburb

Police chiefs have been praised for sending extra police officers into a Sheffield suburb to tackle social distancing breaches.

By Claire Lewis
Thursday, 14th May 2020, 8:43 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th May 2020, 8:43 pm

Extra police patrols were ordered and the Serious Violent Crime Taskforce was deployed to Page Hall after mobile phone footage showed a large crowd in the Popple Street area earlier this week when a disturbance broke out.

The crowd of around 100 people could clearly be seen ignoring social distancing measures, just a few hundred metres away from the Northern General Hospital, where Covid-19 patients have died.

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Extra police officers are patrolling the streets of Page Hall

The footage caused outrage and led to residents calling for the army to be deployed to the city suburb.

Sheffield’s District Commander, Chief Superintendent Stuart Barton said officers in Page Hall have exercised ‘their powers of enforcement’ more during the coronavirus crisis than any other area.

He said: “In the coming days there will be an increase in police presence as our Serious Violent Crime Taskforce assist with the dispersal of persistent groups and individuals, who we are seeing ignore regulations time and time again.”

Posting a message for South Yorkshire Police on Facebook, Louise Kelly said: "You've absolutely done the right thing, both in listening to the public outcry and dealing with this flagrant disrespect of current rules and regulations. Good job.”

Gemma Hull said: “South Yorkshire Police police can you start giving people fines.“There are people who haven’t left there homes for seven weeks and are missing loved ones and will have to wait even longer because idiots not following the government rules.”

Catherine Young said: “Page Hall is five minutes away from the Northern General where people are fighting for their lives with Covid-19. At least the people that live on the door step should keep to the safety measures out of respect for the patients and all the NHS staff.

“Maybe some tough measures are needed like no treatment for Covid-19 for people who do not obey the rules set in place by the Government. It might make people think.”

Jayne Black added: “Thumbs up. It’s about time something like this happened.”

To report issues call South Yorkshire Police on 101.