There were nearly 200 gun crimes recorded across South Yorkshire last year

Nearly 200 gun crime offences were recorded in South Yorkshire last year, new figures show.

By Katie Williams
Friday, 21st February 2020, 11:16 am

South Yorkshire Police recorded 199 crimes with a gun in 2018-2019, according to Home Office data – up from 177 in 2017-18.

Offences with low-powered weapons such as BB guns are included in the figures, alongside shotguns, handguns and rifles but the data excludes crimes involving air weapons.

A crime scene cordon in Addy Street, Upperthorpe, after a shooting in April 2019

There were 14 firearms offences per 100,000 members of the South Yorkshire population – above the national average of 11.

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Kit Malthouse, minister for crime, policing and the fire service, said: “We are recruiting 20,000 new police officers, giving them more powers to take dangerous weapons off our streets and ensuring serious violent and sexual offenders spend longer behind bars.

“The Offensive Weapons Act introduces new laws which will give police extra powers to seize dangerous weapons.”

Detective Chief Inspector Jamie Henderson, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “We have a robust strategy in place when it comes to confronting and tackling violent crime. The force is committed to dealing with the behaviours that fuel it and implementing longer term plans to tackle the consequences armed criminality can have.

“The impact of violent crime, including knife and gun crime, is huge and can change the lives of everyone involved.

“We, as authorities and the community, need to look at a public health approach, which is why in September last year we launched the Violence Reduction Unit. In addition to this we now have our Serious Violent Crime Taskforce deployed on the streets and I am confident we will soon start to see the benefits of this dedicated approach.

“Everyone has a role to play in this, from our schools and youth groups through to our health professionals and the wider criminal justice services. We also want to help parents, families, carers and communities to have the confidence to reject some of these negative lifestyle choices that leave young people vulnerable to street violence.

“We also want people to have the confidence to speak to us. It’s a barrier that we and many other police forces face.”