We are not a gun city

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Sheffield is described as the safest city of its size in the UK and most people in the city would argue that was the case.

So the latest set of figures about the number of firearms incidents over the past five years is surprising. Let’s get one thing clear: We are not a city with a gun culture. Our streets are safer than they have been for years, and the amount of reported crime is falling. But there were 1,741 crimes reported to the police since 2008 where firearms have been seen, brandished or used in anger. The face that 57 people were shot last year, at a rate of one a week, is pretty alarming. Guns were reported to have been used in 556 attacks, two sexual offences incidents, 273 robberies and 10 burglaries. Anyone on the receiving end of one of these crimes will have been very afraid. So while we should celebrate our relatively low crime figures, we should be concerned about the number of firearms offences and look to the courts to make examples of those found guilty to serve as strong deterrents to those who think that it is all right to strike fear into members of the public by carrying around lethal weapons.

Mistake is inexcusable

In this day and age it is inexcusable that anyone in authority should tell a mother she needs to go somewhere private to breastfeed her baby. Regardless of the Equality Act 2010, surely we don’t still live in an age where people take offence to something so natural? But that is what happened to a young mum on board a Northern Rail train. Thankfully, managers at the train company are taking a completely different view to the conductor who told Chantelle Nicholls she had to continue her feeding in the toilet. Not only was it illegal to tell her to do so, but it was also morally wrong.

Great Ralph

Many happy returns to Ralph Tarrant who has become South Yorkshire’s oldest man. It is a great honour for a great man.