Victims refusing to co-operate with police probes into shootings and stabbings in Sheffield have been warned that detectives will still investigate and seek to put violent criminals behind bars.
In a number of recent cases, victims have refused to answer questions about attacks in the belief that detectives will drop their cases and not delve any further into their backgrounds.
With some victims fearful of the repercussions of their own criminality or gang alliances emerging during investigations, a number have remained tight-lipped and failed to answer police questions in a number of recent cases.
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But today, Detective Inspector Jamie Henderson, who runs Sheffield’s reactive CID, warned victims that detectives will work around the clock to find evidence from other sources to crack cases if they fail to co-operate themselves.
“Our priority is to safeguard victims and the public and to put dangerous offenders behind bars,” he said.
“If we have a shooting or stabbing it’s our duty to the wider public to take positive action and we will go to the nth degree to look for other methods of gathering evidence to try to progress cases if victims fail to co-operate .
“There have been cases when we have gone to court without complainants when it is in the public interest.
“Regardless of whether a complainant engages, the best thing we can do when people are prepared to use a knife or firearm is to put them behind bars.”
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He said many stabbings and shootings are ‘acts of mindless violence’ often linked to gangs.
“These acts of mindless violence cost victims their lives, cost perpetrators prolonged periods of their lives and impact on both families,” he added.
“They are often over something petty such as an argument about territory and who has done this or that but the consequences can be devastating.”
DI Henderson, whose 54-strong team investigates serious and complex investigations in Sheffield, took over the department when detectives were moved out of a central team and back into Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster in May.
He said the move is reaping rewards, with detectives building up a strong local knowledge of criminals and crime patterns as well as a wealth of local intelligence to help crack cases.
His team leads manhunts for offenders, investigates high risk missing people cases and works on murders, rapes, burglaries and robbery cases.
“We deal with all serious crimes and aim to safeguard and protect life," he said.
“Maximising opportunities to recover evidence such as clothing and forensics is vital as well as recovering weapons used in cases of violence to get the off the streets.
"We will work around the clock to identify and remand offenders."
To pass on information call South Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.