Nipping gun culture in bud

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WE are a far cry from being a gun capital but the fact there were 30 recorded firearms offences on one of our estates in a month is alarming.

The police have been active in establishing a high profile and implementing gang injunctions to clamp down on the state of lawlessness in Parson Cross.

Speedy action by them has resulted in more than £4m of drugs being seized and 12 people allegedly connected to rival gangs arrested.

It is precisely this sort of action that the majority of law-abiding residents of Parson Cross need and want.

It is frightening to think there has been this level of firearms activity on the estate as a result of feuding that has got out of hand.

In the autumn of last year that activity escalated as tension between the criminal gangs increased.

It resulted in 30 separate firearms incidents, including those where guns were fired.

The visibility of the police action undoubtedly acted to quell the lawlessness and reassure the public – proactive policing that deserved recognition at the recent police awards.

Council’s promise is matter of trust

THERE is a lot of scaremongering surrounding the £3.5m of cuts to Sheffield’s Sure Start children’s centres.

But if the council is to be believed, parents and carers should have little to be worried about.

The council has been involved in a restructuring programme to drive out duplication and inefficiency in the way it delivers services to young people.

And it will be providing those services in a different way by creating central hubs of excellence and satellite services near communities.

At a time when severe savings have to be found, it is unrealistic to expect that we can have the same services delivered in the same way without paying more for them.

How else is the council going to achieve its target of making £50m of savings this year.

The test will be whether the council can live up to its promise that the greatest change people will see is underused services being made available at larger Sure Start centres.

If it fails then it will have lost the trust it has with the public.

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