Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Sheffield communities 'should design own anti-violence strategies'

Knife crime victims in Sheffield (2017-8)
Image caption Knife crime victims in Sheffield (2017-8). Top (L-R): Gavin Singleton, Kavan Brissett, Jarvin Blake and Glenn Boardman. Bottom (L-R): Fahim Hersi, Samuel Baker and Ryan Jowle

Knife crime in Sheffield can be cut by reducing school exclusions, increasing the diversity of teaching staff and paying communities for solutions, a report says.

There were eight fatal stabbings in 2018 and South Yorkshire is among the top five local authority areas to see increases in knife crime.

A report on violent crime in the area has produced 10 recommendations.

Ideas include benefits advice along with family and mental health support.

The report was produced by staff from the University of Sheffield, charities and youth organisations.

Recommendations included the formation of a paid group of young people and adults from affected communities to "co-design strategies to reduce violence".

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In 2018, eight men died from stabbings in Sheffield and in June 2019, the government gave South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner £1.6m for a Violence Reduction Unit similar to Glasgow's, where police, schools, hospitals and charities take a "public-health approach" and treat violent crime as a disease.

But the report's authors said those deaths represented "only a fraction" of the city's knife crime offences, and a long-term solution to those offences needed to be found.

Image copyright Univereity of Sheffield
Image caption Academics and charities, youth organisations and experts discussed how Sheffield could deal with youth violence

The report, compiled for Sheffield City Council, said there should be help for families in deprived areas to claim benefits and to maximise their incomes, reduce school exclusions and "employ teachers more representative of the communities they serve".

Abtisam Mohamed, of Sheffield Council, said reducing school exclusions had a major impact on young people's "life outcomes".

Sheffield knife crime victims

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