Police may step up Sheffield stop-and-searches after two stabbing deaths
Chief Superintendent Stuart Barton, of South Yorkshire Police, said they are considering the move in some parts of the city.
Police are considering authorising additional stop-and-search powers in parts of Sheffield after two teenagers were stabbed to death in a week.
The city’s police commander was talking about his force’s response to the death of a 15-year-old boy in the Lowedges area on Thursday night.
The murder follows a knife attack on Tuesday in the Woodhouse area of Sheffield – about eight miles away – in which 19-year-old Ryan Jowle was killed.
A murder investigation has been launched after a 15-year-old boy has died in hospital following an incident this evening in the Lowedges area of #Sheffield More information available here: https://t.co/nDDleFZ39a— SouthYorkshirePolice (@syptweet) May 24, 2018
Chief Superintendent Stuart Barton, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “This weekend we’re considering some, maybe, additional powers that we may wish to use, that we don’t like to use on occasions, around stop-and-search.
“We get to some points when we think what more can we do, how can we support people, how can we give people that presence?”
Asked if any powers would cover the whole city, Mr Barton said: “Not across Sheffield. We’re looking at certain areas if necessary – we have to look at doing that.
“It will be proportionate, it will be necessary, we’ll go through the legal process. But it may be a consideration.”
On Friday a large area remained cordoned off at the end of Lowedges Road, around a forensics tent on the side of the main A61 Sheffield to Chesterfield dual carriageway.
Officers received reports at around 7.50pm on Thursday that the teenager had been stabbed, Mr Barton said.
He was taken to hospital but died an hour later.
Mr Barton said it was a “shocking crime” and the exact circumstances were “still being unravelled”.
He said: “It’s a bit of a complicated picture at the moment.
“What I do know is that, clearly, there’s been an altercation taken place.
“What we do know is that this young person was having a bit of a troubled time.
“We don’t believe it to be a random attack. There may be a bit of targeting with it, but it would be wrong for me to say exactly what that was less than 12 hours since the incident occurred, whilst we’re still working with the family and trying to give them some answers.”
He added: “Clearly somebody of 15 years of age is massive concern to us.”
Asked if Sheffield has a knife crime problem, the officer said: “I think Sheffield is like any city. You have to look across the UK and many cities and many places are suffering from young people – and not just young people, older people – carrying knives.”
The boy’s murder came two days after the death of Mr Jowle, in the Woodhouse area of the city.
Mr Jowle died at Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital on Wednesday morning after he was stabbed at around 11.10pm on Tuesday.
An 18-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of murder following his death, the force said.
The man remains in custody and the woman has been released on police bail as inquiries continue.
The deaths are just the latest of a number of knife-related incidents in the city in recent months, including the killing of 22-year-old Jarvin Blake, in the Burngreave area, in March.
ROAD CLOSURES THIS MORNING: In connection to the murder investigation in Lowedges last night, Chesterfield Road South roundabout to Meadowhead roundabout, towards Sheffield, is closed, as well as the end of Lowedges Road on to Chesterfield Road South, in both directions.— SouthYorkshirePolice (@syptweet) May 25, 2018
Shop worker Saleh Esmailei, who works close to the scene of the murder in Lowedges, admitted that the area had a drug-dealing problem and police were regularly called to the surrounding streets.
Mr Esmailei said: “There are a lot of problems. The police are always chasing someone.”
He added: “I hear that someone’s been stabbed – a young kid – that makes me very shocked.”