Police say they are taking ‘robust action’ on gun crime and organised gangs in Sheffield after locking up 21 people in the last six weeks.
Twenty men and one woman have been arrested, charged and remanded in custody as part of a crackdown on organised crime in the city.
They are accused of offences relating to guns and drugs.
It comes after new chief constable Stephen Watson promised to ‘throw the book’ at armed criminals following a recent spate of shootings in Sheffield.
Of the 21 charged, ten men have been charged with firearms offences, five men with possession of an offensive weapon and assault and five men and one woman with possession with intent to supply Class A drugs.
Sheffield Superintendent Shaun Morley said: “Twenty-one people who are suspected of being involved in criminal behaviour and activity in our city are currently charged with various offences and are in custody.
“I hope this sends out two very clear messages; the first to the law abiding members of the public who do not deserve to be blighted by individuals who choose to live this type of lifestyle, that we are taking robust action and I want to offer my personal assurance this will continue.
“The second message is to those involved in, or who know a loved one or family member associated in criminal activity, or anyone who is thinking about taking this route, that it will not be tolerated and we will do everything we can to ensure the streets of Sheffield remain safe and those partaking in criminality are brought to justice.”
A public awareness campaign was launched in July to focus on different members of the community affected by organised crime, including business owners and elderly residents.
The initiative includes giving the public advice on how they can anonymously report suspicious activity and behaviour that they suspect could be related to armed criminals through the charity Crimestoppers.
The force has also recently held a three-week amnesty for knives and guns, which saw 30 firearms surrendered in Sheffield, along with Samurai swords, machetes and gun ammunition.
Supt Morley added: “There are a vast array of both overt and covert operations in progress to enable us to reduce the number of organised crime groups, and I hope with the action taken over the last six weeks, the public have an increased confidence in South Yorkshire Police that we are doing our utmost to tackle criminality in the city. If you have any information regarding gangs, the use of firearms or any suspicious activity in your area, I would urge you to please report your concerns either to the police on 101, or anonymously by contacting the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”