Sheffield’s gun crime hotspots have been exposed as community leaders call on South Yorkshire Police to clamp down on firearms offences.
Community figures in Burngreave say they are ‘disappointed’ the area has had 103 gun crime incidents in five years – more than 10 times as many as areas such as Crookes, with just seven gun incidents and Ecclesall with nine.
Coun Ibrar Hussain, Sheffield Council member for Burngreave, said: “If these numbers are true, then it’s disappointing to say the least.
“I would say the majority of these offences are people outside, coming into Burngreave. I have lived in Burngreave all my life and I have never come across a gun.
“But, like anywhere else, people wouldn’t have them in their hands, walking down the street.
“It’s a serious concern to me and we need to do more and work together to make sure these offences are tackled properly.”
The figures, revealed under The Star’s Your Right to Know campaign, show the city centre is the next area where gun crime is most common, with 73 incidents since 2010, followed by Southey, Firth Park and Manor Castle.
Southey ward suffered 63 gun crimes, including 20 of violence against a person, with 58 reported in Firth Park and 57 in Manor Castle.
The most recent fatal shooting in Sheffield claimed the life of Jordan Thomas, aged 22, as the car he was in was shot at.
He was waiting at the traffic lights at Cutlers Gate in the city centre, the junction of Derek Dooley Way and Sheffield Parkway, when the car was fired at. A 32-year-old has been charged with murder.
It’s a serious concern to me and we need to do more and work together to make sure these offences are tackled properlyCoun Ibrar Hussain, Sheffield Council member for Burngreave
Just a fortnight ago, two men armed with a gun held up a Spar and GT News on Twentywell Lane, Bradway, just a week after an armed robbery at a tanning salon in Greenhill.
Dionne Parkin, owner of Sunbeams Tanning Salon, said: “It was about 10 minutes before closing and two men came through the door with their faces covered.
“One of them took a gun out and demanded money. He was quite aggressive, banging the gun on the counter. It was such a shock. I have felt physically sick for the last fortnight.”
The Beauchief and Greenhill ward has been home to 17 incidents since 2010, and only one of those was a robbery.
Dionne said police have been very supportive since she was robbed.
“The police have been really good,” she said. “They have been driving past quite a lot and have popped in the shop as well. That makes me feel a bit more reassured.”
Across South Yorkshire, 1,822 gun crimes have been recorded since 2010. In those, 274 people have been injured or seriously injured – about one per week.
A total of 841 gun offences were recorded in Sheffield, including 128 involving injuries or serious injuries.
South Yorkshire Police says it is working hard to tackle gun crime.
A force spokesman said: “Gun crime in South Yorkshire is relatively low and accounts for only 0.2 per cent of all crime in the county – however we are determined to reduce this figure even further.
“A variety of tactical and strategic activities are conducted across the force through means of education, operations and targeting organised criminality groups in a bid to reduce gun crime.
“The highest recording of firearms offences in Sheffield is for possession. However, this offence includes imitation firearms and BB guns, as well as other firearms.
“Sheffield is generally a safe place to live and work, with 25 fewer offences recorded in the city last year compared to 2013.
“For the same period, injuries sustained as a result of the use of a firearm in Sheffield have been reduced by about 15 per cent, armed robbery against a person has been reduced by almost half and armed robbery against a business has also been reduced by one-third.
“Over the last five years, 841 offences have been recorded in the city.
“To provide some form of context to these offences, 29 have resulted in serious injuries and four proved fatal.
“Those responsible for three of the deaths have been sentenced in two cases and charged with murder in the third. One case remains open with a number of arrests made, and the investigation is still very much active and on-going.
“A firearms amnesty was held in November that resulted in more than 50 firearms and 600 rounds of ammunition handed in.
“We are committed to continuing to decrease the number of firearms offences and will do all we can to reassure our residents that we will not accept or tolerate the illegal use of any firearm.”
Gun crime top 10:
1. Burngreave - 103
2. City centre - 72
3. Southey - 63
4. Firth Park - 58
5. Manor Castle - 57
6. Darnall - 47
7. Arbourthorne - 45
8. Shiregreen and Brightside - 41
9. Gleadless Valley - 35
9. Richmond - 35
1. Crookes - 7
2. Fulwood - 8
3. Ecclesall - 9
4. Broomhill - 11
4. Birley - 11
4. Graves Park - 11
7. Beighton - 12
8. Hillsborough - 13
9. Dore & Totley - 14
10. Stannington - 15
Other notable areas -
Nether Edge, 24, Walkley 23, Stocksbride & Upper Don - 18