Violent crime on the rise in Sheffield

Violence has increased in Sheffield over the last year, despite overall levels of crime in the city holding steady.

Tuesday, 3rd November 2020, 9:54 am

According to the Office for National Statistics, South Yorkshire Police recorded 17,443 incidents of violence in Sheffield in the 12 months to June – an increase of eight per cent compared to the previous year.

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At 29.8 crimes per 1,000 people, that was in line with the rate across England and Wales, which stood at 29.5.

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A 12-year-old boy was shot on the Arbourthorne estate in Sheffield earlier this year

Overall, police recorded four per cent fewer crimes across England and Wales, with coronavirus lockdown restrictions between April and June believed to have played a part.

There 1,408 sexual offences in Sheffield, which was a decrease of two per cent; 19,928 thefts, which was down nine per cent and 5,853 incidents of criminal damage and arson, which was a reduction of eight per cent.

But drug offences went up by 23 per cent, with 1,568 recorded and there were 722 possession of weapons logged, which was up 12 per cent on the previous year.

Assistant Chief Constable Tim Forber, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “The latest ONS crime figures cover the 12 months up to June 2020, with the final quarter therefore affected by the national lockdown period.“With day-to-day life disrupted for so many - including criminals - over this period, the overall drop in crime in South Yorkshire and across the country is to be expected. “You will see in the figures that there have been significant increases in drug offences and possession of weapons, with South Yorkshire above the England and Wales average. While this may appear concerning on the surface, it is in fact a reflection of the huge amount of proactive work that has gone into cracking down on these types of serious crime.

“Over the last 12 months we have continued to invest heavily in tackling violent crime and drug-related offending. It's very encouraging to see that this hard work is paying off.“I am also heartened to see increases in reports of crimes including sexual offences and stalking and harassment. Again, while this may appear worrying at first, we are only made aware of these particularly distressing crimes when the victims show incredible bravery by reporting them to us.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.