'These gangs run everything' - Sheffield shopkeepers speak out after alleged stabbing and shooting

Haji Lala in front of his shop.
Haji Lala in front of his shop.

Fearful business owners described how their livelihoods are now at the mercy of gangs who have taken siege of their community.

A number of shopkeepers told how they are living in a state of fear amid racial tensions and clashes between rival gangs over alleged drug dealing territory.

Police at the scene of the alleged shooting in Spital Hill.

Police at the scene of the alleged shooting in Spital Hill.

They spoke out after a man suffered gunshot wounds and a teenage boy was stabbed during two mass street brawls in and around Spital Hill, Burngreave, within the last three days.

Haji Lala, aged 34, said he wanted to put CCTV outside his Spital Chippy shop a few years ago - but was warned off by a terrifying gang.

He said: "I wanted the cameras up but they face an area where the gang congregates. A group of them came and threatened me.

"They didn't want to be seen on the cameras. I decided not to put them up. These gangs run everything."

Khaidiga Mohamad with her damaged shop.

Khaidiga Mohamad with her damaged shop.

He described how an armed gang occupies a particular corner at the junction of Spital Street and Spital Hill and are scaring customers away.

He said: "They sit there all day and you can see them with knives and bits of wood. They shout things at people if they get too close.

"It is scaring people off. Less people are even going to the big Tesco because they have to walk past them.

"It takes ages to build up your business but we are losing trade."

The corner of Spital Hill and Spital Street.

The corner of Spital Hill and Spital Street.

He added: "People say it is to do with drug dealing. We need more police out here or it will only get worse."

Another shopkeeper, who did not want to be identified, added: "There are groups from different countries and they keep fighting. They just don't seem to care."

Khaidiga Mohamad, aged 58, who is counting the costs after two youths smashed the front window of her Al Hamdu clothes shop, added: "I have less customers now. We want something to change."

Edita Savickaja, who works at the Emin Supermarket, said: "There are different groups and everyone wants to be king. You see fighting on the streets all the time."

A sign at Spital Hill.

A sign at Spital Hill.

Spital Street with police tape around it.

Spital Street with police tape around it.