PACT at Hillsborough Arena

NWS News attended yesterday’s Partners and Communities Together (PACT) meeting at Hillsborough Stadium.

Police Sargeant John Kirkham presented statistics to the seven attendees in a friendly and informal manner. The PACT area in question includes Hillsborough, Stannington, Wadsley, Owlerton, Loxley, Wisewood, Malin Bridge and Woodland View.

Encouragingly, there has been a decrease in the number of incidents reported to the police.

When comparing December 2009 (latest available figures) with the same period in 2008:

  • Crime is down 13.5% generally
  • Burglary is down 33%
  • Robbery is down 30%
  • Violent crime is down16.8%
  • Vehicle crime is down 11.7%

However, Anti-Social Behaviour incidents were up by a worrying 34.5% (an additional 69 reports). South Yorkshire Police’s Safer Neighbourhood Team is already on the case and the links below highlight current local priorities and action being taken.

Inspector Rob Blake, who leads the SNTs, said: “Whenever the public raise a concern we take positive action. A recent example is the Whitehouse Lane area of Walkley where residents were concerned about antisocial behaviour.

“The SNT have responded by increasing patrols in the area, installing CCTV and working with our partners to deliver activities for young people.

“As a result of this police action, five young people have been arrested on suspicion of antisocial behaviour, two Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs) have been issued and several Parental Advice Letters have been hand-delivered to parents of youngsters identified as being involved in ASB.

“This activity has received a positive reaction, with residents already reporting a reduction in ASB incidents.”

Other issues from the PACT meeting

The seasonal avalanche of complaints about snowballs being thrown – sometimes containing pebbles and being aimed at moving vehicles – was mentioned. Due to the nature of these incidents, they are very difficult to police.

Drug-sniffing dog patrols across the area meant 27 people were stopped and eight searched for illegal substances.

Licensing checks in Stannington resulted in three arrests.

A “knife arch” (metal detector) operation in Hillsborough on 12th February resulted in no knives being found.

As Operation Loganberry winds down, aimed a reassuring the Loxley community almost a year after a murder there, Operation Koalition is about to start. Koalition is designed to increase awareness of Safer Neighbourhood Teams through offering security advice to residents and businesses in Wisewood, Stannington and Upperthorpe.

Due to restricted budgets, the Safer Neighbourhood Teams based at Hammerton Road are losing two police officers – down to a team of nine – but numbers of Police Community Support Officers will remain unchanged. Police Sargeant Kirkham told the PACT meeting that despite this thinning of resources there would be no reduction in initiatives.

The next PACT meeting for Hillsborough, Stannington, Wadsley, Owlerton, Loxley, Wisewood, Malin Bridge and Woodland View is at 6.30pm on Thursday 25th March at Hillsborough Stadium (just off Middlewood Road, next to Hillsborough Park).

Police contact numbers

  • 0114 2202020 for all non-emergencies and enquiries
  • 0114 296 4912 to leave a message on the local Safer Neighbourhood Team answer machine (a call back is promised)
  • 0800 555 111 to call Crimestoppers and report a crime anonymously
  • Dial 999 in the event of an emergency, if a crime is in progress or there is danger to life
N.B. If anyone is interested in submiting a report to us from PACT meetings elsewhere in the North West Sheffield area, get in touch!
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