By Connor Newbitt
Sheffield recorded 925 gun crimes in 2021, the highest annual count since South Yorkshire Police started recording the offence in 2007.
And 2022 is not looking much better with several shootings already having taken place.
Gun crime includes crimes committed with both lethal and non lethal weapons ranging from shotguns to stun guns.
This worrying figure puts South Yorkshire as having 21 firearms offences per 100,000 people. An increase in the 19 offences per 100,000 people the year before.
Ellice Irving, 21, was a resident at Clough Road in April 2021 when a shooting occurred on a footpath behind her house. The incident resulted in respected solicitor Khuram Javed being murdered by a group of men in a targeted attack.
Irving recalled the event had shaken her up stating: “It’s worrying to think that these types of violent crimes are being committed on your doorstep.”
The murder of Javed is just one of the many devastating losses of life throughout the last year in Sheffield.
This year several shootings have already taken place, the most recent being at a car wash in Burngreave. The victim, just 21 years old, was pronounced dead later on at the hospital.
South Yorkshire Police in response to the increase in shootings has said they will be allocating more patrols, primarily in areas which have recently been affected.
500 officers were lost over ten years due to cuts
The force itself has seen an increase for the first time in ten years. Boasting 228 new officers brought into South Yorkshire, a substantial amount after losing 500 officers over the space of ten years due to cuts.
While this is a significant increase, the force has still struggled to get even half of the numbers lost back onto the streets.
This increase in police coverage may bring some comfort to those living in Sheffield, but many are still worried about where and when the next incident will take place. The frequency and unexpected nature of the events have put many people on edge for their families’ safety.
South Yorkshire Police urge members of the public to come forward with any information they may have in relation to the use of illegal weapons.
You can report any information to the Police directly via their website or by calling 101. Additionally there is an anonymous service through the Crimestoppers website or by calling 0800 555 1111.