Numerous arrests have been made as Operation Duxford swept across Sheffield today (Monday 17 July), with activity and engagement continuing into this evening.
Thirteen people have so far been arrested for various offences including failing to attend at court, drugs and theft. Immigration officers, who have been working alongside SYP and other partners as part of the operation today, arrested three of those individuals – one on suspicion of human trafficking.
Two people have been reported on summons to attend court – one for begging offences and one for possession of cannabis – by officers patrolling the city centre. Another man has been cautioned for begging.
Operation Duxford began early this morning with several drugs warrants executed in the city centre and Broomhall areas.
A quantity of suspected Class C drugs were recovered.
Chief Inspector Russell Hughes said: "Operation Duxford is all about responding to the issues that affect our local communities – things like antisocial behaviour, violent crime and drugs.
"This is the third Duxford seen in Sheffield and will by no means be the last.
"For this Duxford, we chose to focus our efforts and work alongside partner agencies to respond to concerns around street begging and associated antisocial behaviour in the city centre, antisocial behaviour in the south west of the city and in particular the Abbeydale Road corridor, as well as responding to concerns about suspected drugs-related crime in the Broomhall area.
"This is in addition to maintaining a visible police presence in the Burngreave area following recent incidents of violent crime.”
As part of the operation, a stall was set up on Fargate in the city centre to raise awareness of homelessness and begging, and the support available to vulnerable individuals. Police officers from the Sheffield Central LPT manned the stall supported by Sheffield DAACT, Addaction, Sheffield Council, the Cathedral Archer Project and the soup kitchen.
Councillor Jayne Dunn, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Services, said: “I know homelessness and rough sleeping is something many people care about, so we want to raise awareness of the support available and how they can get involved. This is being done as part of the ‘Help Us Help’ campaign, which highlights what local charities, services and the council offer and how they work in partnership to support vulnerable people.
“The most important thing people can do is let Sheffield’s Street Outreach Team know if they are worried about someone. People can also get involved in the local charities who help support those on the street.”
More drugs were recovered in the afternoon, when officers moved into the Burngreave area of Sheffield. There has been a heightened police presence in that area of the city, and the introduction of a dedicated problem solving team, following reported shooting and stabbing incidents last month.
Quantities of cannabis were seized and one man arrested on suspicion of drugs supply offences.
CI Hughes added: “Days like today allow us to dedicate a significant number of resources into communities that are affected by these issues and take some really positive action to disrupt these criminals, whose behaviour can be a real blight on local residents and businesses.
"We hope this concerted day of action and increased presence reassures our communities that we listen to your concerns and will tackle criminality in all its forms.
“So far we have seen multiple people arrested for various offences, which is always a positive result, but Duxford is also about engaging with the public and, on a day with lovely weather like this, it’s been nice to get some feedback directly from the communities we serve.
“I also want to take this opportunity to thank our officers and staff across the force who have turned out to support the operation today, who demonstrate daily their dedication to policing South Yorkshire."