South Yorkshire Police seize 89 guns in crackdown on organised crime
A police crackdown on organised crime has led to the seizure of 89 guns over the last year and a half.
The weapons, seized since the beginning of 2020, have been found during police efforts to disrupt organised crime groups involved in the supply of drugs and believed to be behind much of the serious violence seen on the streets, including shootings and stabbings.
Police officers involved in the crackdown are urging anyone with information about firearms incidents and drug dealing to come forward.
Superintendent Martin Tate said: “We are acutely aware of the strength of feeling surrounding any acts of violence on our streets, we share that anger and we understand the concern.
“I want the public to know that we have officers on the streets every single day, executing warrants, making arrests, seizing weapons and carrying out stop searches. The intention of this type of activity is to identify and destabilise networks, and let offenders know that they are on our radar.
“You might not always see us, but I can assure you we are there, and progress is being made.
“Our Armed Crime Team have seized 89 illegally held firearms across South Yorkshire since the start of 2020.”
He added: “In the last few weeks our Operation Fortify officers have seized over £100,000 and significant amounts of controlled drugs in two operations linked to organised crime in Sheffield. This is the type of enforcement action which is taking place on a daily basis.
“In the meantime, our neighbourhood teams are working with local schools to ensure intervention measures are in place as early as possible.
“I want to assure the public that dealing with organised crime groups are a priority for us and that we have the resources in place to destabilise their activity.”
Supt Martin Tate said a number of people have been charged in relation to firearms incidents across Sheffield and a ‘significant’ number of arrests have been made in relation to incidents which have occurred in the city since the start of 2021.
Supt Tate added: “What is absolutely crucial if we are to reduce violent crime and bring those at the centre of organised crime groups to justice, is that local people work with the police.
“We need information from you, we need you to pick up that phone, or send a message which could quickly enable us to make an arrest, locate a weapon and prevent someone from becoming a victim.
“This might be a location where a drug deal is taking place, a vehicle registration, a name you might have heard in connection with an incident. The more information we have, the more positive action we can take.
“We know it can be difficult, but there are so many options and ways to contact us. Be one of our allies, help us gather intelligence and help us stop criminal activity on our streets.”
Anyone with information about organised crime groups should call South Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.