Why did it take almost 18 hours for police to reassure people about the nature of Sunday’s gun attack?
To the media the signs were that this was probably a targeted attack – a brief media statement online and then long silence is i keeping with situations where an arrest is imminent or where the police believe no-one else is under threat.
Clearly, if there was felt to be a threat to more lives, their response would have been very different – warnings, appeals by officers, blanket media coverage.
But not everyone will have realised that this was likely to be the case. Workers arriving at Capita, for instance, were clearly shocked and worried.
So why not put people’s minds at rest? Why leave it to a local councillor to give that reassurance? Today’s police statement says the force can’t be certain it was targeted on individuals, yet their operational response seemed to indicate that.
When news of a shooting that has left one man dead and another injured breaks, it is a shocking event in Sheffield and people are, rightly concerned.
In the age of social media and rolling news online the police have to respond fast and frequently otherwise rumour and speculation will fill cyberspace.