This terrifying Russian handgun, loaded with live ammunition, has been taken off the streets of Sheffield - after being dumped during a police chase.
The Russian Baikal semi-automatic weapon was found following extra patrols after a shooting off Fairleigh on the Manor last month, when a 26-year-old man was shot in the neck. Four men in their 20s are in custody today.
This deadly loaded semi-automatic handgun has been removed from the streets of Sheffield in a police war on gun crime, aimed at halting the number of victims killed or seriously injured in shootings.
The Russian Baikal, loaded with live ammunition, was found dumped on a city street during a police chase.
Officers were pursuing a man, who had run off after a car was stopped on the Arbourthorne estate, when they spotted the gun.
Three occupants remained in the vehicle police had pulled over, but one fled - and when officers apprehended him on Daresbury View in Arbourthorne they found the handgun nearby.
The weapon has been sent off for forensic examination to establish whether it has been used in any other firearm incidents in the city.
And a search of a home, mounted as part of the same operation, resulted in the recovery of a ‘significant’ amount of Class A drugs.
Four men, all aged in their 20s, have been arrested and were still in custody yesterday.
Detective Chief Inspector Bob Chapman, responsible for operations to combat gun crime, said the gun seizure was the result of officers mounting extra patrols in the city following a shooting off Fairleigh, Manor, last month, in which a 26-year-old man was shot in his neck.
Officers are not yet linking the incidents.
DCI Chapman said: “In response to the shooting a couple of weeks ago we increased patrols and mounted a number of operations, and during one of those operations a vehicle was stopped and one of the occupants fled.
“He was pursued on foot and detained, and near to where he was found a Baikal semi-automatic handgun was recovered with a number of live rounds of ammunition in the magazine.”
He said South Yorkshire Police are making ‘significant progress’ in the war on gun crime.
“The discovery of the gun is down to the excellent work of Operation Scimitar - the proactive CID team responsible for tackling firearms and drugs,” he said.
“It has resulted in a significant firearm being taken off the streets in an area where we had a serious shooting recently.
“There is an intensive investigation under way now in relation to the firearm - we are looking into whether it is linked to any other shootings in Sheffield.”
DCI Chapman stressed Sheffield remains one of the safest cities in the country.
“Sheffield, in relation to other major cities, has a relatively low level of firearms offences, and the public can be reassured that whenever we do have an incident we automatically increase patrols and mount pro-active operations to apprehend those involved and bring them to justice,” he said.
“This is another example of how that is working.
“South Yorkshire Police have made significant progress in recent months, both in terms of tackling and reducing gun crime in the city.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright said: “I am concerned whenever serious crimes take place involving weapons such as guns and knives.
“I visited the serious crime unit last week and spent half a day there going through operations they are involved with in relation to tackling serious and organised crime and gangs using weapons such as guns.
“The operations and work under way to tackle this issue are reassuring to me, because gun crime is something we are not prepared to tolerate.
“South Yorkshire Police are doing an awful lot behind the scenes to prevent shootings.”
Anyone with information about gun crime should call South Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.