Call for street patrols on Sheffield estate after masked gunman bursts into home with children inside

Donovan Road, Parson Cross.
Donovan Road, Parson Cross.

Fearful residents are calling for extra police patrols on their estate - after a masked gang armed with a gun burst into a house with two children inside.

Four men raided a home in Donovan Road, Parson Cross, and threatened the man inside with a firearm. He battled to keep them out of the property as two children were also inside.

Fortunately nobody was hurt but police believe the incident, which happened on Tuesday at 10.50pm, was a targeted attack.

Residents said this is the latest in a string of several firearms incidents on the estate in recent years.

And while many of them did not want to be named for fear of reprisals, their message was clear - 'We need more police patrols on our streets'.

A mum-of-two, who has lived in Donovan Road since 2010, said: It makes me scared because I have two young children."

A couple aged 35 and 33, who have a young son, added: "This isn't the first time there has been firearms on the estate. Police come out responding to incidents a lot, but you hardly ever see them patrolling.

"There's a lot of gangs involved with drugs around here. There are long term problems. If the police were more visible it might put these people off."

Another couple, both aged 21, of nearby Adkins Road, said they had lived in the area "all of their lives" and claimed there has always been high crime levels.

The man said: "I have to work away a lot so it makes me worried for my partner when she is back here."

His partner added: "I wish we had more police on the streets."

This latest attack follows two previous unrelated firearms incidents. Three shootings took place in Barrie Crescent, Southey Green, and Lindsay Avenue and Deerlands Avenue, in Parson Cross, in July 2014. A 13-year-old suffered minor injures in one of the attacks.

And in July last year a 19-year-old man was reportedly shot on Wordsworth Avenue.

Other residents vented their frustrated on Facebook.

Amanda Jackson, who has since moved away from the area, said: "I used to live on this road and used to hate it being on my own with three children."

Vanessa Milner said she had also been the victim of a previous attack and added: "Same happened to me minus the gun. It's so scary."

South Yorkshire Police is currently leading a public consultation asking residents how they would like to see the force modernised. Police chiefs have previously said they will put more of a focus on "neighbourhood policing" with more bobbies on the beat.

South Yorkshire Police Cheif Constable Stephen Watson said: “We are aware incidents of this nature can be very worrying and distressing to local communities and I would like to offer my reassurance that this violence is taken extremely seriously, and that we will do our utmost to identify offenders and bring them to justice.

“I understand this incident also relates to concerns around gun crime in the area. We have taken, and continue to take, robust action to address, resolve and prevent it. To achieve this, part of this action has included increasing high visibility patrols in the area, as well as gathering intelligence to actively pursue and stop offenders engaging in illegal activity.

“Through this action and intelligence-led work, we have already been able to apprehend and charge a number of offenders found in the possession of a firearm. This is just some of what we have done and continue to do, in order to keep all of our residents safe and out of harm.

“Further to this action we have also been running neighbourhood events to allow local communities to engage directly with us about the service we provide and how we can work to improve this. From these events we have successfully been able to engage with different communities and take their feedback, which is now being used to influence and tailor future plans that will be put in place to reduce crime and increase public confidence.

“Everyone here is committed to tackling gun and violent crime across South Yorkshire and any offenders who are engaging in this activity will be appropriately dealt with.

“Our priority is to keep all of our residents safe and we will not stop until this has been achieved. If you would like to report any concerns you may have, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 101, or 999 in an emergency. You can also call the confidential Crimestoppers number on 0800 555 111 or fill out an anonymous Crimestoppers form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.”