A TERRIFYING haul of more than 400 blades and knuckledusters, 115 firearms, and seven banned fighting dogs are among the weapons seized from the streets of Sheffield in just four years, The Star can reveal.
Sheffield’s award-winning Gang Enforcement Team - a specialist arm of South Yorkshire Police - has also seized £9.5m of cannabis from drug dealers, and stopped almost four kilos of heroin flooding the city.
Since the team was set up in 2009, officers have carried out 498 raids and made 402 arrests in the fight against gangs, guns and drugs in Sheffield.
On top of the heroin and 9,500 cannabis plants found by the police team, its officers have also taken 1.2 kilos of crack cocaine out of circulation and 1.5 kilos of recreational drugs including cocaine, mephedrone and ecstasy.
The cache of weapons taken off the streets is made up of 442 blades and knuckledusters, 90 imitation firearms, 25 guns and Tasers and 21 batons.
Police chiefs this month honoured the Gang Enforcement Team for its successes at an annual awards ceremony to recognise the achievements of officers across the city.
Sheffield’s District Commander David Hartley said: “I am delighted with our ongoing success dismantling those who seek to earn a criminal living through fear, drugs and violent enforcement - sometimes with firearms.
“We will not tolerate this in Sheffield, and my commitment is to protect the decent people in Sheffield from such criminals.
“We are already seen as one of the safest cities in the country and I intend to keep it that way.
“My commitment is to provide the resources and leadership to continue removing weapons, drugs and guns from the streets of Sheffield and then remove the liberty of those linked to them.
“Every day I see Sheffield police officers tackling the most dangerous criminals and bringing them to justice. I have great pride in their bravery and commitment.”
Gang team in numbers:
Number of cannabis plants seized by the gang team since 2009 - 9,500
Number of guns and Tasers taken out of circulation by the award winning team - 25
Number of arrests made by the Gang Enforcement Team in Sheffield - 402
The value of the cannabis found by police of taken out of circulation - 9.5m
The number of search warrants executed by the team over four years - 498