Police Commissioner's concern after 'brazen' gun killing on Sheffield street
A fatal shooting on a Sheffield street in broad daylight has been branded 'brazen' by the county's Police and Crime Commissioner, who said he is worried about innocent members of the public getting caught up in city gang wars.
PCC Dr Alan Billings, who oversees the way South Yorkshire Police responds to crime, spoke out after 23-year-old Assel Al-Essaie was gunned down in Daniel Hill, Upperthorpe, on Saturday afternoon.
He was rushed to hospital with a gunshot wound to his chest but could not be saved.
A 30-year-old man is in police custody after being arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder.
PCC Billings said gun crime is something police chiefs in South Yorkshire need to 'watch carefully' but he said the issue and association with gangs and drugs is not on the same scale as other major cities experience.
"There are clearly issues about guns and gangs in Sheffield but in terms of the scale I don't think the issues here are comparable with other big cities, but it is something we have to watch and keep an eye on," he said.
"I am satisfied that the police are on top of it here as much as they can be but the disturbing thing recently is that guns are being used on the streets and therefore although incidents may be inter-gang issues there is always the possibility that innocent members of the public can be caught up in it.
"Saturday's incident was brazen, it was on a public street. When people discharge guns, bullets can fly in any direction and ricochet.
"I hope the police will get to the bottom of this quickly and find the weapon used."
He said he was reassured to see extra police officers on the streets after Saturday's shooting but he wants reassurance that the force is fully aware of all the gangs operating in the city and the weapons they may have access to.
"I want reassurance going forward that the police are fully understanding of what is happening, and have enough intelligence about gangs and the weapons they are using," he added.
"Crucial to this is the intelligence they get from members of the public - there will be people out there who have seen things and know things. If they do they really ought to come forward."
Anyone with information on the murder should call South Yorkshire Police on 101.