0114 talks: Hearing young women’s perspectives on crime in Sheffield

0114 talks: Hearing young women’s perspectives on crime in Sheffield

Sadie White No Comment

On Monday night young women and female youth work practitioners came together from across the city to discuss crime, the effects, and what can be done to prevent further violence in our communities. It was great to bring together young women from communities across the city through the work of community partners, The Manor & Castle Development Trust, Together Women and Broomhall Girls Youth Group.

Young women looked at important topics such as safety in Sheffield, when and where they feel safe, where they don’t and importantly how to keep themselves safe, looking at different scenarios and techniques – such as letting trusted people know where you are going, being aware of your surroundings and what to do if you feel unsafe while out and about. Worryingly, racism was also highlighted as an issue with young women reporting to have been verbally attacked on the bus and outside in the Hillsborough and Manor communities. The city centre was commented on as an area young women feel ‘unsafe’ due to ‘people hanging around’ as well as West Street due to ‘the drunks’. Sharrow was highlighted as somewhere to feel safe as it’s a ‘peaceful community’ along with leafy Fulwood and Hathersage.

The event also looked at current issues within Sheffield and the crimes that are being committed with a focus on current perceptions of what is being done to tackle crime that impacts young people negatively. There was a strong feeling that young people can be ‘discriminated against’ and seen as ‘the problem’, for example the general perception that ‘all young people are in gangs.’ It was felt that this is unhelpful as actually young people are being drawn in by criminals looking to exploit young people for their own gain. And, that actually, young people need safe spaces and youth work support to ensure they aren’t put at risk of exploitation in order to lead productive lives and create positive futures for themselves.

Thinking about what can be done to prevent further violence in our communities the young women said that ‘Supportive groups and clubs for young people who commit crimes would help to get them out of these situations, and help adults understand how they get drawn into crime in the first place.’ There was also a lot of discussion around the importance of youth work in the communities, ‘the importance of having places for young people to come together, enjoy themselves and learn.’ It was felt that ‘people may commit crime as a result of things they’re lacking in life – like money, friends, family support and respect.’ and that youth clubs and youth work activities could go a long way to filling this void for young people and ultimately help to keep them safe.

0114 talks is part of an ongoing series of events that will look at issues important to young people across the city.

How you can help

Our charity is dedicated to helping Sheffield's young people to reach their full potential and achieve the best out of life, whatever their starting point. To help us to do more to support young people and communities we need your help. Just remember, every penny you donate will make a difference.