Police pressure mounts on armed criminal gangs in South Yorkshire
Police in South Yorkshire have an increasingly sharp focus on the county’s most professional criminals, the organised gangs which are most likely to use guns as a tool of their trade.
Although Sheffield accounts for three quarters of the people hurt in criminal shootings last year, the city actually has no more gangs with access to guns than Doncaster.
Police believe each centre has ten gangs with access to guns, with two or three more at each location operating without firearms.
But the force is now increasingly active against all of those gangs, with a multi-layered approach to monitoring and disrupting their activities.
That ranges from the most specialised officers working on difficult cases such as people trafficking, to neighbourhood officers who are now expected to monitor and provide information on gang members operating on their patch.
The aim is to provide a comprehensive picture of how gangs operate and who is involved, to give investigators a better chance to disrupt their work, either through locking them up or other activities such as seizing the vehicles, cash and drugs which allow gangs’ criminal businesses to operate smoothly.
Last year South Yorkshire Police recovered £19,000 in cash from organised criminals, but have now employed new investigators and hope to make significant increases on that, which will help to paralyse criminal operations.