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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Is Darnall Really a Hotspot for Crime in Sheffield?

According to Monday's Sheffield Star Darnall is one of three crime hotspots in Sheffield, and someone has already come to our office to complain about it since reading the article. Each month - usually on the second Monday - we have a Neighbourhood Watch surgery at our post office, and on average about 12 - 15 incidents are reported each time, which is hardly a crime wave. So does Darnall really feel like a crime hotspot to you? 

According to The Star, "2,855 crimes were reported in Darnall in 2014-15, including 148 burglaries, 414 shoplifting reports, two kidnappings and a murder. The area was the top of the crime leagues outside the city centre."

Councillor Mazher Iqbal  told The Star that the statistics include shoplifting and car break-ins at Meadowhall and Valley Centertainment and this makes the figures look worse than they really are in the rest of the Ward. He said, "I haven't been contacted by anyone who is particularly concerned about crime in the area."

His perception is borne out by our own research. Between 2012 and the present we have carried out about 2,000 one-to-one interviews with local residents about life in Darnall. When we have asked them about their biggest concerns, crimes like burglary, shoplifting or violence against the person have scarcely been mentioned by anyone.

However, as Councillor Iqbal also told The Star, there is quite a lot of concern about so-called Anti-Social Behaviour, including littering and fly-tipping. Fly-tipping is a crime, but it's not a police matter so it isn't included in the crime figures quoted  by The Star. 

In response to what people have said to us, we are currently trying to find ways of tackling fly-tipping in Darnall and we would like to hear your ideas.

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