Star opinion: Worrying gun crime figures

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Once considered a rarity or a problem for other areas incidents of gun crime in South Yorkshire are occurring with shocking regularity.

Today we reveal that one person a week is injured in gun incidents in South Yorkshire.

Across the county, 274 people have been hurt or seriously injured in firearms-related offences including murders, manslaughter, robberies and assaults, since 2010 – more than one a week.

In Sheffield, 128 people have been hurt in firearms crimes – or two every month since 2010.

These figures are very worrying for the public and also for the police who go about their job every day not knowing whether the person they are dealing with has a firearm or not.

Police say that gun crime in South Yorkshire accounts for only 0.2 per cent of all crime in the county but it is the fear factor that firearms bring into a community which is difficult to quantify.

Only last night police spent more than an hour searching a Sheffield street after a reported sighting of a firearm.

The police deserve the support of everyone as they aim to get guns off our streets. It is far from an easy job and it will take time, energy and resources to achieve this goal.

* Read more: Sheffield’s top gun drime hotspots exposed