Not surprised by crime hotspots

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I was saddened but not surprised to read in The Star, (February 26), about the top five crime hotspots in the city.

We have witnessed this deterioration taking place before our eyes as previously nice areas have been turned into threatening and intimidating places due to crime and antisocial behaviour.

Shoppers and visitors to the city are regularly accosted by street beggars and the opening of more bars and clubs has led to a sharp increase in alcohol-related incidents due to many people’s irresponsible and excessive drinking habits which has contributed to the rise in violence.

It is hardly surprising that a recent Sheffield Council survey revealed that the public no longer felt safe when visiting the city centre especially at night and it is blatantly obvious that licensing changes need to be made to restrict the number of businesses selling alcohol.

I can remember when West Street and Ecclesall Road were prestigious shopping areas and High Street, Fargate, Chapel Walk and The Moor were all safe and pleasant locations but, sadly, not any more.

I find it astonishing that Sheffield recently won a national award and has become the first Yorkshire city to gain Purple Flag status for promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and local residents as I think there is a long way to go before those standards are met.

We are constantly told that Sheffield is a safe place and no worse than any other city regarding the level of crime, however, until the problems that have been identified by the public are addressed then no amount of investment or regeneration will increase footfall sufficiently to make Sheffield competitive with other cities.

Sheffield City Council and the police need to get it sorted before the city centre becomes a ghost town and people decide to go elsewhere for their shopping and entertainment in surroundings where they feel safe.

Susan Richardson

Westminster Crescent, Lodge Moor, Sheffield, S10