Residents claim cameras might have prevented fatal stabbing of dad

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A CCTV system has been installed outside a high rise tower block in Sheffield near where a man was murdered a week ago - a year after the cameras were taken down.

Residents in Handbank flats claim the cameras were put up on Thursday - four days after 30-year-old Zabihullah Rafiq was stabbed to death at the communal entrance to a neighbouring block on Callow Mount, Gleadless Valley.

He was stabbed once in the chest outside the main door to the Bankwood block just a few minutes after he finished work at Pronto Pizza on Glossop Road.

Police believe the married father-of-one may have been the victim of a bungled robbery or he was attacked in a case of mistaken identity.

Residents say they have been fighting for new cameras for a year after old ones were removed for the block to be re-clad.

Terry Smith, 62, whose flat overlooks the murder scene, said: “If the cameras had been up before the murder you never know it might have been captured and it could have helped the police find who did this,” he said.

“Some CCTV cameras beam back to police stations or control rooms so if somebody was lurking around they might have been picked up and this might never have happened.

“The cameras were taken down while all the flats were being re-clad, which took about a year, but they weren’t put back up until last week.”

Mr Rafiq, who was known as Zabi, was originally from Afghanistan but had lived in Sheffield for around 10 years. Police said he no enemies.

He still had cash, his mobile phone and car keys on him when his body was found.

A spokesman for Sheffield Homes, which manages the tower blocks for Sheffield Council, said CCTV cameras are installed outside two of them.

He said: “The two external cameras for the Handbank block were disconnected in July 2010 to allow for the Decent Homes cladding improvements to take place.

“As the cladding work has progressed the cameras were reconnected at the end of May 2011.

“We are continuing to work with residents to address any safety concerns.”

n Anyone with information about the murder should call South Yorkshire Police on 0114 296 3014.