‘It’s rough': Life on troubled Sheffield estate as told by the people that live there

Residents on a Sheffield estate plagued by violent crime have said they are not surprised by news of a double shooting believed to be drug-related.

Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 5:55 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 5:55 pm

Police were called to Errington Avenue, Arbourthorne shortly before 9.45pm on Tuesday after reports of a several gunshots being fired at a house before they received another call just eight minutes later to report shots being fired at a property on nearby Aylward Road.The two incidents are believed to be linked, police said on Wednesday.

It comes after a 12-year-old boy was shot in broad daylight in January near to the shops on Northern Avenue. At the time it was the eighth city shooting in just eight days, which police said was the result of a gang war between two organised crime groups operating in the area. A public meeting was called shortly after the incident where several people said they were ‘living in fear’ on the estate.

Speaking after the latest incident, one man said: “It’s rough around here. It never used to be but it is now.”

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Police officers remain at both crime scenes this afternoon while enquiries are carried out at the houses fired at last night.

Peter Smith, who lives on Cawdor Road, said: “The incident is probably drug-related. It’s not a surprise because people are on low income, it’s a low-income area so it’s bound to happen.”

But another resident, who did not want to give his name, said: “People blame austerity for all this crime but I don’t think you can use it for a reason to go around firing guns.”

Three bullet holes were visible in the front window of a house on Errington Avenue on Wednesday, while five bullets were reportedly fired at the house on Aylward Road.

Officers guarded the crime scenes overnight.

Many residents declined to give their name, with one man claiming his “windows would be smashed in” if he did.

He added: “It’s not going to change around here with drugs and crime. We have it every day, people wheeling and dealing and the smell of weed. There’s people flying around in cars, there’s always something going off.

“The police are around again – they were around the other week – and then it will all fade away. They [criminals] will lay low for a few weeks but you will be back here in three months. They catch the criminals then someone else comes along.”

Another woman living on Aylward Road with two children under the age of two added: “They need to try and make the area a bit safer, there’s too many shootings going off.”

Brian Robinson, who was visiting a friend on the estate, said: “It’s a bad area. It used to be a nice place to live but now there’s that much drug dealing. I wouldn’t be surprised if the latest shootings are drug-related.”

Matthew Day, 34, who lives on Eastern Avenue, added: “I’m assuming like most other things it’s about drugs. It’s just rival gangs selling on someone else’s turf.

“Over the last few years it’s been rife with people shooting each other over drugs.”