Praise for police in gangs crackdown

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A SHEFFIELD councillor whose community has been blighted by gang warfare and drugs has praised the police for carrying out an operation to crackdown on the problems.

Ibrar Hussain, who represents Labour in the Burngreave area, has written to thank officers involved in a series of dawn raids to try to dismantle postcode gangs and smash drug dealing networks operating across the city.

Around 70 people have been arrested on suspicion of drug offences - activity which police say many postcode gang members are involved in.

Coun Hussain’s community has two notorious postcode gangs, S3 and S4, which have been caught up in violent clashes over the years.

S3 member Jonathan Matondo, aged 16, of Verdon Street, Burngreave, was shot dead at the nearby Nottingham Cliff recreation ground in October 2007 in what police believe was a shooting organised by the rival S4 group - although nobody has ever been convicted of the offence.

Two other S3 members have also died as a result of in-fighting.

Brett Blake, 23, of Longley, was stabbed to death in a city nightclub during a series of tit-for-tat attacks in June 2008, and the following month 17-year-old Tarek Chaiboub, of Wincobank, was shot dead outside Frenchie’s Barbers on Spital Street, Burngreave.

In his email to South Yorkshire Police, Coun Hussain said: “This operation has taken a lot of planning and police officers have put in hard work, I would like to thank them for their efforts.

The councillor added: “It is pleasing to see that it has delivered results to help make our streets safer from serious gang related and drug crime.”