1 Person shot every week in South Yorkshire

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.

One person is shot and injured in South Yorkshire every single week, The Star can reveal.

In the last five years, 278 people across the county have been shot and hurt - 54 of them ‘seriously’.

The total is the equivalent of 55 people injured by gunfire in the county every year - an average of more than one a week.

Most of the shootings were categorised by police as ‘violence against the person’.

But 11 were personal robberies, and eight were robberies of businesspeople whose workplaces were targeted.

The yearly total was the highest in 2008, when 68 people were shot and injured. The year 2011 had the fewest injuries due to shootings, with 33.

Last year 57 gunshot injuries were reported to the police.

This year looks to be on course for fewer - with 10 shooting injuries recorded by police in the first four months of this year.

Adbul Rub, a family friend of murdered 17-year-old Tarek Chaiboub who was shot dead in Burngreave, Sheffield, in 2008, said ‘more effort needs to be made’ to eradicate gun crime.

Mr Rub, from Upperthorpe, said: “It’s a shame for the whole community that incidents involving firearms keep happening.

“With the figures going down but having risen again last year, it looks as if the authorities tried to work within communities to reduce the problem but have maybe taken their eye off the ball.

“More effort needs to be made again. We need to see the number of incidents fall to zero.”

Council and police efforts to reduce gun crime in Burngreave have been helped by volunteer Street Pastors, launched after the shooting of 16-year-old Jonathan Matondo in Burngreave in 2007.

Tricia Watts, of Rock Christian Centre, Burngreave, who is one of the organisers of the initiative, said she believed incidents in Burngreave have fallen in recent years.

She and other Christians patrol the neighbourhood and also the city centre at night, offering help and advice.

Tricia said: “We have seen things get a lot quieter in recent years.

“There have been times we have come across people involved in gun crime. A couple of years ago, some lads showed us where they had been shot.

“We were able to encourage them not go down the route of getting involved in crime.”

The statistics about gun crime are released as part of The Star’s Your Right to Know campaign, which aims to shine a spotlight on the hidden facts and figures that affect readers’ everyday lives.

The numbers show 1,741 crimes reported to the police since 2008 involved firearms being used, brandished or simply seen.

Six were dwelling house burglaries, and 427 involved criminal damage to a dwelling.

Guns were recorded as having been used in 556 attacks, 273 robberies - and two sexual offences.

Broken down by area, Firth Park and Burngreave were the suburbs of Sheffield with the most gun-related crime.

There were 16 offences in each between January 2012 and April 2013, and 11 in the Manor and Castle policing district of Sheffield.

Over the same period of time, 339 incidents involving firearms were recorded across South Yorkshire as a whole.

The Wentworth South policing district - which includes Rawmarsh, Dalton, Thrybergh, Ravenfield, Woodlaithes village, Brecks and East Herringthorpe - suffered the most incidents, with 21 logged.

Rotherham North, which includes Masbrough, Kimberworth, Kimberworth Park, Wingfield, Rockingham, Greasbrough and Thorpe Hesley, suffered 18.

VOX POP

Wendy Mitchell, aged 34, teacher on maternity leave, Walkley:

“Personally, I feel really safe. I have been a student here and I have always felt safe.”

Robert Russell, 67, retired university lecturer, Fulwood:

“I am very surprised at the figures. I feel completely safe. I have never had any problems with crime.

“But there are certain places I wouldn’t walk alone at night.”

Flora Owen, 73, retired civil servant, Fulwood:

“I think Sheffield is a safe place. I use the city centre.

“I go out in the evening on my own and I’m never nervous. You can smile and chat to people.”

Deniz Savas, 61, university researcher, Crosspool:

“I feel safe in Sheffield. I have been to other parts of the world and I know Sheffield is safe.

“A friend of mine was burgled and the police were there quite quickly afterwards.”

Andis Senkans, 25, managerial assistant, Sheffield city centre:

“I moved here four years ago and I always feel safe. I can walk around alone at night.

“The police are always around, driving down the little roads, and that means people are less likely to commit crime.”

STATISTICS:

- Number of people shot since 2008 - 278

- Number of crimes where firearms were used or seen - 1,741

- Number of people shot between January 2008 and April 2013 - 339

Firearms incidents where people were shot:

YEAR NUMBER OF OFFENCES

- 2008 68

- 2009 54

- 2010 56

- 2011 33

- 2012 57

- 2013 10 up to April