'Enough is enough': Councillor urges community to demand action after shootings in Sheffield

A Sheffield councillor is urging a city community to demand action after another shooting.

Monday, 23rd August 2021, 1:15 pm

Coun Ben Miskell spoke out after a 44-year-old man was shot in his leg in Samuel Road, Norfolk Park, on Friday night.

Two men, aged 44 and 18, were arrested along with a 17-year-old boy on suspicion of firearms offences and wounding before being released after police questioning.

There have been a number of gun attacks in neighbouring Arbourthorne and Heeley over recent months.

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Councillor Ben Miskell has raised concerns about shootings in Norfolk Park and Arbourthorne

Last summer guns were fired in Kenninghall Road, Errington Avenue and Aylward Road, all in Arbourthorne and Myrtle Road, Heeley.

Earlier in the year, a 12-year-old boy was injured in a shooting on Northern Avenue, Arbourthorne.

Coun Miskell said: “The vast majority of residents are law abiding and their lives are frequently blighted by a running spate of gun and knife crime incidents caused by a minority. There’s also the constant issue of anti-social behaviour, that we can’t downplay and is sometimes connected.

“Sadly drugs and organised crime is seen by a small minority as an easy career route. We need to work together as a community to make sure that’s not the case.”

He added: “Some of the solution is battling it through law enforcement and locking up hardened offenders, but we also need to be more savvy. We’ve seen a £2 million investment in our Youth Service as part of the council’s One Year Plan, but I’m hoping to make the case for more priority within this to be given to Norfolk Park and Arbourthorne. We need to show young people who are at risk of being dragged into gang activity that there is another path.”

The councillor said: “We’ve also got to make the local community more confident to speak to the police and report their concerns. Every piece of information can help to piece together a bigger picture and make it more difficult for criminals to organise in our area.

“Some of the issue is about funding and I think the government has got it’s priorities wrong. Instead of funding a new Royal Yacht that’s estimated to cost up to £200 million, we should use that money to create an enforcement fund, allocated to anti-social behaviour hotspots like Norfolk Park and Arbourthorne, to provide surge policing, or fund additional CCTV or extra council enforcement officers.

“For those residents woken up by the sound of police sirens and having to look on whilst their street is taped up as a crime scene, it’s all little comfort. They pay their taxes and live by the rules and shouldn’t expect to live with gun crime and endemic anti-social behaviour. If it was happening in a more affluent part of town, there would be an outcry and people would be protesting on the streets, writing to their MP and demanding action.

“We need to demand better and say enough is enough.”

Coun Miskell added: “The police have done a great job by apprehending suspects, which will provide some reassurance in the community. However this incident once again shows how guns continue to blight our area. They have no place in our community. Law abiding residents have had enough of gun crime and just want to get on with their lives, without the fear that the presence of guns create.”