FIREARMS were used 30 times in just one month by warring gangs as a feud on a Sheffield estate spiralled out of control, The Star can reveal.
Police were called to firearms incidents an average of once every single day for a month when thugs allowed their violent dispute to spill onto the streets of Parson Cross late last year.
But crime and disorder has plummeted by 90 per cent since gang injunctions were issued by police against 12 individuals believed to be connected to the feuding groups.
The injunctions – the first ever used in South Yorkshire – were praised by District Commander David Hartley.
Fellow police chiefs said it was no understatement to say the injunctions had ‘saved lives’.
District Commander Hartley said their success could be measured through ‘a massive reduction in reported offences’ and a ‘visible confidence and wellbeing returning to the people of Parson Cross’.
The scale of the problem was revealed for the first time at an awards ceremony to highlight the best of policing in Sheffield.
Superintendent Shaun Morley said: “In September we saw an escalation of tension between criminal gangs in Parson Cross and Southey, which resulted in more than 30 separate firearms incidents, including firearm discharges.”
Chief Inspector Colin McFarlane, speaking at the same ceremony, revealed South Yorkshire Police’s specialist Gang Enforcement Team had been the driving force behind the injunctions.
“In November, the team was at the forefront in dealing with escalating tension between two feuding gangs in the north of the city,” he said.
“They led on some nationally-pioneering work in successfully applying for 12 gang injunctions against individual members of the gangs.
“I am quite confident this work brought a halt to increasing violence - and no doubt saved lives as a consequence.”
The city’s gang enforcement team was named ‘police team of the year’ at the ceremony, where it emerged its members have executed 107 search warrants over the last year and made over 100 arrests.
The team’s aim is to dismantle organised crime groups, stop them from flooding the city’s streets with drugs, and to seize firearms used by gangs to protect their turf or to threaten rivals.
Assistant Chief Constable Simon Torr said Sheffield still remains ‘the safest city in the UK’.