"It's like gang warfare": Heeley residents react to daylight shooting but say they still feel safe in suburb

Residents have spoken out about crime after a daylight shooting took place in their community – blaming the incident on ‘gangs’ and insisting they still feel safe.

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 6:00 am
Will Morgan and Heather Hunt both believe that cuts to services have contributed to a rise in crime.

A shooting was reported at Albert Road on the morning of August 1, although no injuries were sustained in the incident.

In March of this year, a man was shot in the leg in Heeley, and in August 2020 a gun was discharged in the area, though no-one was injured.

Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh has launched a Safer Communities campaign asking communities and residents for their views of safety in their community, what they think the priorities should be and how they should be tackled.

A non-fatal shooting was reported on Albert Road, Heeley, on August 1.

One female resident, who has lived in Heeley since the 1970s, told the Telegraph: “Two gangs been going at it tit for tat for the last 18 months. It’s dangerous when people are firing guns from cars.

“The police are fed up as well. It’s just like gang warfare. Whenever the police turn their backs something can happen.

"It’s got worse over the years, with gangs moving into the area. Stiffer sentences are needed.”

The woman, who in jest said she didn’t want to be named for fear of being shot at herself, explained that despite the rise in gang violence she doesn’t feel particularly unsafe.

Hannah Alcock moved to Heeley from York and said that she finds it a safe place to live.

She said: “There’s worse places to live in Sheffield. I don’t feel afraid walking to the shops. I don’t think the people causing this affray would hurt anyone like us, I think it’s gang on gang violence.”

Heather Hunt believed that cuts to services were contributing to criminality in the area.

She said: “Personally I feel very safe, but I am concerned about young people. There is knife crime and gun crime.

"I am aware that services are being ravaged, youth services used to be here and now they are not. Mental health services are also being cut.

"Young people have difficulty getting good apprenticeship, funding places in colleges, and finding meaningful jobs.

"I want to make a case for getting really good services back for young people.”

Will Morgan, who is moving house in Heeley, said that he agreed, but added: “I think the problem comes from political decisions about how to fund society.”

Mum Hannah Alcock, who moved to Heeley from York four years ago, had not heard about the recent shooting and didn’t feel unsafe.

She said: “I have a six year old son and a one year old daughter, and I have no concerns for them living here.

“I moved because of friends and family in Sheffield. My friends really liked the area and it’s got good local schools.

“I always felt safe but down Gleadless way I would be a bit more worried.”