Labour councillors have committed Sheffield council to increasing funding by over £1.1 million for community safety work across the city, so that people feel safe living, working, and playing in our neighbourhoods.
The funding, designed to provide more reassurance in local areas by better joint-working, will involve working with communities, the council and partners including South Yorkshire Police, the voluntary, community and faith sector, health, schools and councillors.
Working to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour will be the main aim as well as reducing exploitation of the young and of vulnerable people. The emphasis will very much be on prevention and early intervention work.
Street wardens across seven committee areas
A team of street wardens will be deployed to each of Sheffield’s seven committee areas. These teams will have enforcement powers to issue on the spot fines showing a return to a visible presence in our areas. They will be supported with a safer neighbourhood team and an improved working model with our partners at South Yorkshire Police.
CCTV will also be trialled, linked to the central monitoring unit and quick response teams, and if successful will be looked at for any major incident areas. Trials in a neighbouring authority have seen anti-social behaviour and low-level crime incidents reduce by up to 60%.
What it will mean for our neighbourhoods
This will be a return to highly visible support and intervention on the streets of our local areas, working with residents and partners including the police.
Where has this funding come from?
The council used to have a lot more funding to enact community safety measures, but since the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition government formed in 2010, Sheffield City Council has seen its overall budget slashed by £475 million – this is a huge 50% of its budget. This means that services have been badly affected, including much less funding for community safety, but last year Labour councillors created a new fund through shrewd use of council financing meaning we are able to make this extra investment.
Labour Councillor Paul Wood, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety said: “I recognise the importance of residents feeling safe in their neighbourhoods and that is why we are investing a further £1.1million in bringing back what many people have asked for, a visible presence on our streets.
“This is only part of a far more extensive plan in partnership with South Yorkshire Police and the Violence Reduction Unit who are also increasing their support and presence on the street. Our street wardens will be a valuable source of information regarding the issues in communities and ensure the right partner agencies are involved at the earliest opportunity.
“We’ve already seen the difference that wardens can make where we have teams out in some parts of the city. As well as intervention, and highlighting or escalating issues, they have become a friendly and supportive presence on the streets and I’m confident that our 28 new wardens will be very well received and make a significant positive difference amongst our diverse communities.”
Warden Enforcement Powers
Wardens will allow them to issue fines but they will also provide advice and support to local people, helping them to report problems and to monitor ongoing or persistent issues.
The wardens will be recognisable in Sheffield City Council uniform and branded vehicles. People can expect to see them in our neighbourhoods by the summer.