‘Criminals preying on our youth’ – says Sheffield councillor after boy, 16, is shot
A Sheffield councillor in the city suburb where a teenage boy was shot last weekend is calling for more to be done to protect youths.
Burngreave councillor Mark Jones spoke out after a boy, 16, was shot in his leg in an attack in Spital Lane in the early hours of Sunday.
The shooting took place just metres away from where a 17-year-old boy was shot dead in broad daylight in a gang-related attack in 2008.
His killers were locked up for a total of 110 years between them.
The attacker responsible for the latest shooting remains at large today as detectives continue to investigate the incident.
Possible motives for Sunday morning’s shooting have not been disclosed by South Yorkshire Police, but Coun Jones said Burngreave has ‘borne the brunt’ of a number of ‘Government failures’.
He said: “The violent acts that we do see in Burngreave are often, but not wholly, linked to organised crime and the drug trade.
“The lack of opportunities, the actions of the Tory-led Government in cutting funding has impacted on youth services, education and job opportunities for many of our young people. The Government’s failed policies have grown the divides in our nation and Burngreave has borne the brunt of those Government failures.”
He added: “Residents have and continue to raise concerns about the safety of our children. The Government have cut the number of PCs and PCSOs. However, we have been working alongside the police to bring additional resources to the area. We have police teams working closely with council services based at Sorby House. These officers are working hard to tackle crime. Although there is clearly much more to be done.
“Locally we are working with residents and other groups. We helped to launch ComeUnity over two years ago, to celebrate the many good people and businesses in Burngreave and we are working to bring more employment opportunities to Burngreave.
“Criminals are preying on our youth and we need to work harder to keep our youth free of criminal exploitation if we are to reduce the number of our children who fall victim to acts of crime.”