Superintendent condemns 'horrific' shooting of boy, 12, on Sheffield street

A senior police officer has spoken of the ‘horrific’ shooting of a boy in Sheffield this week and says communities are at the heart of helping to tackle violent crime.

Friday, 17th January 2020, 4:00 pm
Updated Monday, 20th January 2020, 12:14 pm

Supt Lee Berry is heading up the new South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit, which is made up of police and public health experts.

He told a council meeting that communities and neighbourhood organisations played a vital role in both preventing and tackling crime.

“The horrific events in Arbourthorne with the shooting are at the forefront of everybody’s mind,” he said.

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Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings and Supt Lee Berry

“We are applying a public health approach but we will still have strong enforcement. No matter what you have in place, crime will still be committed and we need strong, quick and effective enforcement so enforcement and the criminal justice system does sit in our strategy.”

He also said there was a ‘bystander effect’ in the city which had to be tackled.

“There’s certain elements of the community now where violence is the norm and has been accepted and we need to change that attitude, the bystander effect, where it becomes unacceptable for these things to happen.

“We are working together in partnership with communities who are the key to helping us unlock and solve problems leading to violence.

“We are building solid foundations about what works and looking at prevention so we can see and stop violence before it gets any worse.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Billings said they were also looking at how to get information out to local councillors so they could pass it on to communities.

“The police will give so much information out but there’s difficulties if something is going to trial and it limits what they can say.

“But if there’s a vacuum it’s filled by rumour and we have to stop that happening. We have had talks about how we do that and get messages out to councillors quickly, which doesn’t prejudice potential trials. It’s also sometimes difficult for the police to work out what has happened.”