Sheffield City Council have committed to increase funding of over £1.1m for community safety work across the city so that people feel safe living, working and playing in their 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, with the emphasis being very much on prevention and early intervention work.
A team of street wardens will be deployed to each of Sheffield’s seven committee areas and will have enforcement powers to issue on the spot fines, which will show a return to a visible presence in the city’s areas.
They will be supported with a safer neighbourhood team and an improved working model with the council’s 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 has seen anti-social behaviour and low-level crime incidents reduce by up to 60%.
Commenting, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety, Councillor Paul Wood said: “I recognise the importance of residents feeling safe in their neighbourhoods and that is why we are investing a further £1.1m 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 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.
They will be recognisable in Sheffield City Council uniform and branded vehicles and people can expect to see them in the city’s neighbourhoods by the summer.