Our officers made an impact in Sheffield last night (26 April) as they flooded the city centre to tackle criminality in the night-time economy.
Teams carried out a wide range of activity, including innovative tactics to tackle drug use and possession under Operation Sidewinder. The high-visibility operation sees a chain of officers patrolling key routes through the city lead by a passive drugs dog.
Inspector John Mallows said: “Last night we carried out 12 stop and searches using Operation Sidewinder, we also detained a 24-year-old man who is wanted in connection with multiple offences, including harassment and breach of restraining orders.
“It is first and foremost a drugs operation, but it is also showing itself to be a vital tool in other ways, including the prevention of violent crime. You will be seeing more of Sidewinder in Sheffield over the coming months.”
Throughout the night, 13 people were arrested for a range of offences including possession with intent to supply cannabis, driving over the prescribed limit and being drunk and disorderly in a public place.
Traffic officers were also out in force, assisted by our off-road bike team, patrolling major routes resulting in the seizure of two vehicles and issuing 11 traffic offence reports.
Joined by colleagues from Sheffield City Council, teams visited a number of shisha bars within the city centre. Out of five premises, four were found to be non-compliant with health and safety regulations. They will now face fines and be subject to follow up visits from licensing teams.
In a bid to tackle the sale of alcohol to under 18s, test-purchasing operations using South Yorkshire Police Cadets were also carried out in nine locations across the city centre and London Road. One premises failed and will now be issued guidance and training.
Superintendent Paul McCurry said the activity demonstrates a commitment to making the city safer: “Last night produced some great results for us. Sheffield’s night-time economy is second to none; we have excellent relationships with our pubs, bars and clubs and are always working hard to make it the safest night out possible.
“It would be wrong of me to say we don’t have any issues, like many other major cities, drug use causes problems and there are vulnerable people we need to protect. That is why we are trialling new tactics like Operation Sidewinder and I am making sure our officers engage with people.”
Throughout the operation, officers also took the time to speak to door-staff, members of the public and local business owners, explaining how Operation Sidewinder works and offering reassurance.
Supt McCurry added: “Thank you to everyone who stopped to talk to us tonight. I want you to know that we are constantly working to deal with issues you raise with us, such as drug use and knife crime. We want to make your night out with your friends safer and make it easy to run a business in the city centre.
“I also want the people who bring these problems into our city to know that their activity will not be tolerated. Nights like this are not a one off, this is the type of work our officers are doing every weekend, but we don’t always shout about it. I hope it is reassuring for the public to hear and see what we are doing on a daily basis to keep them safe.
“My final message of thanks is to my staff, colleagues from West Midlands Police, including PD Dash and our partners at Sheffield City Council for a great night of engagement and enforcement.”
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