Worried Sheffield resident sets up petition for CCTV in ‘no go’ Page Hall areas to ‘root out’ criminals
A petition has been set up by Page Hall residents who want to see CCTV installed in areas where crime is prevalent in a bid to deter gangs from operating.
The residents have said that the crime in the area – including drug dealing, fly tipping and large gatherings during lockdown – is causing tension. They say many are blaming the Roma community for the unrest, when it is in fact just a small group of individuals.
They hope that by introducing CCTV to certain parts of Page Hall, the footage can be used as evidence to ‘root out’ these individuals, and deter them from operating there.
The resident who set up the petition to Sheffield City Council, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “I live with my dad, who has lived in Page Hall for 15 years, and his neighbour has lived there for 25 years and brought three kids up there.
"We were talking about the growing tensions in the area and how there is a lot of animosity towards Roma people at the moment.
"But I work with Roma people and I know many are hard working and want to integrate. You can’t just blame a whole community because it is just some individuals doing the crime.
"What we need to do is root these individuals out and then the problem will disappear."
South Yorkshire Police has been stepping up its presence in Page Hall in response to recent problems, however the residents behind the petition do not believe this is working.
"The problem at the moment is that by the time police turn up there is no evidence or people to talk to,” the resident behind the petition said.
"We know how the criminals operate. They get to recognise the police faces, so they behave as they should when the police are around. But if there was cameras they could be monitored all the time.
"In Pitsmoor they have put a CCTV camera at the corner [Petre Street] where there was violence and drug dealing and that has worked. Criminals can’t be active with a camera looking at them. And if they are there is evidence for the police."
The resident added: “At the moment Page Hall is a no go area, and criminals want it to stay that way so they are not watched.
"Older ones are encouraging younger ones and it is a growing problem, and people are right to be fearful and worried. But it is a select few that are making it a no go area.
"If there is criminal activity in a place it is a case of stopping it rather than being at each other’s throats and blaming different communities.”
Since October, South Yorkshire Police has been operating a dedicated Page Hall team.
Acting Police Sergeant Alistair Stanistreet, coordinating the operation, said: “As a police team, we’ve been prioritising enforcement since our arrival in Page Hall, we’ve had some really positive results and we are starting to see a change in behaviour.
“We acknowledge we are starting with small steps, but what we’re seeing is encouraging.
“We want to see our coordinated efforts result in positivity and pride in the area for all our communities.”
You can sign the petition here.