Sheffield hotspot for car crime, reveals survey

Superintendent Shaun Morley
Superintendent Shaun Morley
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Sheffield centre has been rated the fifth-worst car crime hotspot in the UK - but police say they are working harder than ever to tackle the problem.

A survey of 42 police forces across the country has revealed that, for every 10,000 vehicles parked in Sheffield Central ward - the city centre, Broomhill, Manor, Arbourthorne and part of Nether Edge - there are 389 offences.

The figure uses data from October 2011 to September last year to score Sheffield three times above the national average.

But officers say they have stepped up efforts to tackle the issue across the city, with the number of reports of break-ins and thefts from vehicles down by five per cent on last year.

Superintendent Shaun Morley, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “The fact that it is fifth is a real concern. It is a problem and not one which is just limited to central Sheffield. But the number of car crimes reported to South Yorkshire Police has halved over the last five years.

“We are constantly seeking ways to improve how we tackle vehicle crime and we’ve recently brought in changes to our approach.”

New initiatives have been introduced, including an officer visit to every crime scene to search for forensic evidence and seek out witnesses.

And, for the first time, intelligence is being passed from Sheffield Council’s parking services and contractors Amey to police to pinpoint vulnerable areas and suspicious activity.

Supt Morley and his team have also been leafleting cars where owners have left belongings on display.

He said: “Thieves tend to go for sat navs, handbags, phones and anything which can be sold on quickly.

“We’re trying to help people prevent themselves from becoming victims.”