The most dangerous street in the borough?

Cllr Ian Jones said: “I feel very concerned about it."

THIS could be the most dangerous street in Rotherham.

There were more sexual and violent offences committed on or around Hartington Close, Ferham, than any other area of the borough, according to South Yorkshire Police’s most recent statistics.

There were 21 crimes “against the person” in eight weeks.

In February, there were eight incidents including sexual offences and grievous bodily harm.

Police are continuing to look into five of those incidents, while two other probes were completed “without identifying a suspect” and one was categorised as “unable to prosecute suspect” through insufficient evidence.

No-one has been taken to court.

January was even worse for the neighbourhood known to some as Holmes, with 13 violent/sex crimes reported. 

Just two of those cases are awaiting court proceedings.

The Advertiser brought the figures to the attention of local councillor Ian Jones.

He recalled that Ferham had been highlighted by the Jay report which estimated 1,400 children had been abused between 1997 and 2013.

He now plans to look at crime issues by re-introducing the council-led Ferham Triangle Task and Finish group, which has not met since Covid.

This group encourages departments across the local authority to tackle various issues while working with police and partners.

Cllr Jones said he had been aware of previous local crimes but admitted a recent outbreak of lawlessness in and around the housing association complex was worrying.

“I feel very concerned about it,” he said. “We’ll see if we can increase the police presence in the area.

“It has to be tackled multi-agency, the police can’t be everywhere. 

“It is a case of people reporting in what they see, if they see suspicious activity they should let us know.

The councillor added that: “Ferham Park, in particular, was identified as a hot spot for CSE by the Jay report. There may be some crimes continuing, and we need to keep a close eye on that.”

As for the flats and houses around Hartington Close: “Some of it is a transient area, very similar to Eastwood.

“For years we have had problems like fly-tipping, rats and anti-social behaviour issues. 

“Two streets away from Hartington there was a big police operation against people involved in benefits fraud. 

“There was about £300,000 benefits fraud found on one street, covering housing, child benefits fraud.”

The Advertiser spoke to two neighbours, both of whom wanted to remain anonymous.

One, a pensioner who has lived locally for 41 years, commented: “Last Sunday, a youth was chased up here by others. 

It’s a dead end, so he jumped in a woman’s car to escape them. 

“They smashed the windows of the car in with baseball bats, dragged him out and beat him up.”

The former retailer said he wasn’t surprised by the police statistics and criticised the behaviour of some of the tenants who had moved in.

“The police do come round here, but they come in a car, drive around and drive off,” he said. 

Another resident said they had been told that security cameras in the area were not functioning, despite them paying for them as part of a service tax.

“There are idiots up and down on here motorbikes, riding without helmets on...this used to be quiet around here.”

Police want to hear from anyone affected by crime.

Insp Liam Walters, who heads up the Rotherham Central Neighbourhood Policing Team, says: “We have a real diverse mix of communities living in this area of Rotherham and I want to make sure every community feels valued, reassured and listened to.”

* OTHER issues highlighted were vehicle crime rates on the main road through Hellaby and Maltby, and shoplifting in Rotherham town centre around Henry Steet/Drummond Street and in Broad Street, Parkgate.

Rotherham South (including North and South Anston, Dinnington, Thurcroft, Catcliffe, Swallownest, Brinsworth, Maltby, Bramley) had the lowest number of cases awaiting court... some 0.6 per cent.

That compares with 3.8 per cent in North (Wath Upon Dearne, Rawmarsh, Parkgate, Wentworth, Thrybergh, Swinton, Brampton, Manvers) and Central’s 4.1 per cent (town centre, Kimberworth, Thorpe Hesley, Greasbrough, Eastwood, Clifton, East Dene, Herringthorpe, Whiston, Canklow.)