Sheffield suburb’s yob problems halve after police arrests blitz

Traders on Abbeydale Road in Sheffield was plagued by anti-social behaviour.
Traders on Abbeydale Road in Sheffield was plagued by anti-social behaviour.
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A six-month blitz on gangs of youths, vandalism and drugs in Sheffield has halved the number of incidents reported to police.

Traders across the Abbeydale Road area had complained that yobs smashing windows, vandalising the area and putting off customers were making life difficult.

Abbeydale Road shop owner Simon Gabbitas

Abbeydale Road shop owner Simon Gabbitas

Businesses said they had been burgled, had windows smashed, and had to endure large groups of yobs hanging around.

Police acted by putting in place an anti-social behaviour order, meaning young people out in groups anywhere between Bramall Lane, part of Sharrow Lane, Wostenholm Road down to Archer Lane and just beyond Carter Knowle Road could be taken home or arrested.

And traders say the order – which expired on Sunday –did wonders for the area.

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Police made 15 arrests over the summer and dispersed 55 youths, as well as seizing five quad bikes and executing a drugs warrant, resulting in the number of incidents dropping by 50 per cent.

Mark Jameson, co-owner of Jameson’s Café and Tea Rooms, said: “There has definitely been a difference.

“There don’t seem to be the problems we were having before. The guys on quad bikes seem to have quietened down a lot.

“A lot of our customers say how much better the area is – I hope it stays that way.”

Alef Ghashghai, aged 22, owner of takeaway Felfel, said groups of young people still congregate at night ‘smoking weed and making noise’

But he said: “They are not harmful. It used to be there were groups of up to 10 on different parts of the road but it’s not like that now.”

Simon Gabbitas, owner of The Little Shop Of Chocs, said: “There haven’t been any groups hanging around at all. So whatever the police have put into place has worked.”

Sergeant Dean Hill, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “There has been a big reduction in the number of anti-social behaviour-related incidents.

“There are a number of reasons why it has slowed down.

“A continued enforcement, and the fact we have taken a no-tolerance stance, has led to reports being greatly reduced.

“But just because the order is finished it doesn’t mean we will take our eye off the ball down there.”