Revealed: The city’s criminal hot spots

Superintendent Shaun Morley
Superintendent Shaun Morley
Have your say

The Star can today reveal the areas of Sheffield with the highest crime in the last year – and the type of offences causing problems for residents.

Three city areas – the city centre, Darnall and Burngreave – have been the worst places for crime for the last three years running.

But the figures are against a backdrop of mostly falling crime, figures show.

South Yorkshire Police’s Superintendent Shaun Morley stated the city has less crime than at any time in 25 years, despite a huge increase in the amount of sex crimes reported.

“We have continued to work hard to reduce crime across the city,” he said.

“Those areas where we have seen an increase, such as sexual crimes and hate crime, is in our opinion down to the increased ease with which complainants can report such crimes, and the fact we have put resources into those areas and increased the confidence of the public to report those crimes. My overall message is crime in Sheffield is at its lowest for the last 25 years. This year we have seen a 6.3 per cent reduction in crime within the city.”

“We have constantly reduced crime to its lowest level in the last 25 years. That shows we’re working hard to make Sheffield the safest city in the country, and we are working hard to protect that status.”

Figures released under The Star’s Your Right To Know campaign show 6,708 crimes were committed in the city centre, 2,808 in Darnall and 2,571 in Burngreave – but two of three were lower than 2012’s figures: 7,286, 3,232 and 2,476 respectively.

The fourth-highest area for crime in 2013 was Southey with 1,645, followed by Manor Castle with 1,689, and Walkley with 1,619 – but all were down year-on-year.

Gleadless Valley is the burglary capital of Sheffield – 241 house burglaries took place in the area, beating the city centre with 191.

Supt Morley said: “I think there are a number of factors involved. It’s a significant housing estate and, in terms of the offender profile of the last 12 months, a big number of active offenders have been residents or active in or around that area. I think that has contributed.

“If you look at progress in relation to the Gleadless Valley, recorded crime is down 18.8 per cent. There is a 3.5 per cent reduction in burglary as a whole, or a 1.1 per cent reduction in burglary of dwellings.”

But the centre was top for assault with injury, with 640 reports, and cannabis possession, with 149, as well as being home to 1,142 thefts.

Outside the city centre, Darnall was home to the second-highest theft rate with 313, and the highest possession of cannabis rate, with 103. Darnall was the suburban area with the highest theft rate with 329, and had the largest number of rapes of a female aged over 16 outside the city centre, with eight against central’s nine.

Mr Morley added: “Darnall and Burngreave are both inner city areas which are quite densely populated and quite economically challenged as well.

“All those factors mean you are going to get a degree of criminality. But we are doing significant work in those areas. If you take Darnall as an example, that has seen a significant reduction in crime year-on-year of eight per cent.”

Rounding out the top 10 in order of most crimes were Walkley with 1,619, Gleadless Valley with 1,577, Firth Park with 1,541, Arbourthorne with 1,278, and Woodhouse with 1,271.

But all dropped year on year against 2012, with the only two areas to have an increase being Stannington, from 665 to 783, and Dore and Totley, from 425 to 537, as well as increases in Stocksbridge and Upper Don, West Ecclesfield and Burngrave.

One piece of bad news is the positive outcome rate – the measure of the number of crimes which result in a charge, court summons or caution for an alleged offender.

In Sheffield, the rate is down slightly when it should be increasing, according to Mr Morley.

He said: “We have seen a slight reduction in the positive outcome rate, to about 25 per cent from about 27 per cent, which is slightly concerning and something we have to make significant strides in increasing.

“But I think there’s a lot of good news in these crime figures. There are significant reductions in burglary and vehicle crime. We have done a lot of preventative work.

“We have something called optimal burglary which means we analyse where burglaries are occurring and increase our visibility around areas of concern.

“We also have a process called cocooning, which means if a burglary occurs we will visit 40 surrounding premises and provide crime prevention advice.

“If you can target that area it reduces the opportunity for offenders. It has a significant impact, and we have seen that across the city.”

Logging incidents

The figures come after inspectors found a fifth of incidents in South Yorkshire were incorrectly logged.

A sample of offences reviewed in South Yorkshire by HM Inspectorate of Constabularies found 11 which should have been logged were not.

A South Yorshire Police spokeswoman said: “HMIC concluded that the force incorrectly decided not to record incidents as crimes on 11 occasions.

“However, we are confident that many of these incidents were dealt with appropriately.”

One incident involved a woman reporting criminal damage carried out by her daughter but who did not wish to take the matter further.

The spokeswoman said: “Instead of criminalising her daughter, she requested she simply be spoken to by police, which is what happened.

“We now have a centralised system to supervise the recording of crime and our processes have been revised.”