Sheffield gangs rely on 'fear' to avoid prosecution, say police

A police chief has admitted that gangs rely on fear to avoid prosecution for offences.

Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 11:14 am
Updated Thursday, 6th February 2020, 3:25 pm

Speaking after a 12-year-old boy was shot on the Arbourthorne estate in a feud between two warring gangs on Sunday afternoon, Assistant Chief Constable Tim Forber urged those with information to come forward.

He said he accepted that gangs rely on fear preventing people from providing witness statements against offenders, but he said the force can protect those who help detectives crack the case.

ACC Forber said: “We know, and I know, that an incident such as this strikes an absolute fear in the heart of the community.

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A boy, aged 12, was shot on the Arbourthorne estate in Sheffield on Sunday afternoon

“But I also know that the people who perpetuate this kind of violence rely on that fear. They rely on people not coming forward, they rely on people being scared.

“That is how they carry on with their business. They rely on people being scared to give evidence.”

He added: “We need those people to speak to us, and tell us what they saw and tell us what they know. My message is very clear – we can protect you, we can protect your identity, but without your help it becomes increasingly difficult to investigate these crimes. These crimes are best dealt with the police and the community working together.”

He said ‘enhanced and visible patrols’ will continue as the latest shooting is investigated.

Anyone with information should call South Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 and quote incident number 516 of January 12.