Visitors and workers in the city centre have reacted to the police patrols that took place to inhibit drug use and sale, as well as ensure social distancing protocols are followed.
Patrols are routinely deployed by Sheffield City Centre Neighbourhood Team to deter the use and supply of drugs in the area. Last week’s patrols focused mainly on City centre, Endcliffe Park and Ecclesall Road.
The public, both shoppers and workers in City centre shared mixed feelings today about the police presence and its contribution to ensure social distancing protocols.
Jonathan Hall, 28, from St Mary’s Road and a department store worker, felt slightly safer with the police around but deems them unnecessary.
He said: “I saw some police horses on the Moor and at Fargate. They were just standing there and people took pictures of them. It was nice to see them out but I don’t think they helped with social distancing.”
Karen Perkins, 60, from Banacross, was in full support the police presence and claimed to “feel safer” but prefers the council ambassadors that patrols the Moor.
She said: “I suppose it’s good to see the police presence as long as they are helping everybody. They come and help when needed in the Moor market. The council ambassadors are really good too and the people trust them.”
During last week’s patrol, 48 stop searches were carried out and eight out of them resulted in arrests for controlled drug possession including cocaine. Additionally, two dispersion notices were issued to deal with anti social behaviour and one man was arrested and charged for theft.
Inspector Ali Bywater commended the team and the public on their efforts to keep the peace and remain socially distant and assured the public that the patrols would continue.
She said: “It’s been a busy week for my officers and all of those working in our city centre. We’ve been around to make sure that people are being responsible and continuing to do all they can to keep each other safe and follow restrictions that are still in place. We have been really pleased to see so many people being responsible and continuing to respect restrictions that are in place, wearing masks and adhering to social distancing in shops and businesses.”