Purple Flag: Sheffield's award for being 'safe and clean' at night sparks debate

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Councillors were cock-a-hoop, but some Sheffielders were sceptical.

News that Sheffield won an award for being a safe, clean and attractive place to go out at night was met with scepticism bordering on disbelief from some readers.

The city achieved its 12th ‘Purple Flag’ after also being judged on transport, food and drink and arts and culture in a scheme run by the Association of Town & Centre Management.

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Councillors were cock-a-hoop, but some Sheffielders were sceptical.

Bleed control kit on Carver Street, Sheffield.Bleed control kit on Carver Street, Sheffield.
Bleed control kit on Carver Street, Sheffield. | National World

On The Star’s Facebook page, Ziggy Young said: “You know when you were at school and got an award or certificate just for taking part? Well, it all seems a bit like that. I'd like to know which towns/cities applied and paid into the scheme and didn't get a purple flag.”

Alex Sweeney joked: “What they don’t tell you is the other cities were Baghdad, Kabul and Aleppo.”

And on The Star's X page, @OwlsFoxy saw the grimly funny side: “Is this a joke? Carver Street’s not called that for nothing.”

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Pablo Binch Calvo had a workers’ viewpoint. He said: “Work in any bar in Sheffield for a bit and you'll realise how wrong this is.”

Lorra Wilson summed up the mixed feelings of many: “Considering there is a stabbing most weekends I’m quite surprised at that. However, I can’t ever say that I’ve felt unsafe.”

And Michael Short put people’s fears in perspective, 

He said: “People talk like walking through the centre is certain death. It's pretty safe. Bad things can happen, but that goes for everywhere. Eleven years of going through the centre near daily and I'm not dead yet.”

Councillor Joe Otten, chair of waste and street scene said the award was good news for Sheffield.

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He added: “It’s about having the vibe, having a safe place to go out and enjoy an evening out and we’re very proud of having won this again.”

Last year, the authority said it had demonstrated processes to minimise risks with the early evening and night-time economy and Purple Flag cities could expect to benefit from lower crime and anti-social behaviour, and more visitors.

Partners in the scheme include the police, pubs and clubs group UNIGHT, city centre retailers, Sheffield Street Pastors and Sheffield BID.

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