In just over six weeks, 21 people believed to be involved in organised crime, armed criminality and drugs offences in Sheffield have been arrested, charged and remanded in custody as South Yorkshire Police intensifies the crackdown on those who choose to live on the wrong side of the law.
The positive action taken by SYP sits alongside the Force’s current Organised Crime Group (OCG) campaign, designed to raise awareness and increase people’s knowledge of organised crime and armed criminality, and to offer reassurance and advice as to how the public can help by anonymously reporting suspicious activity and behaviour through the charity Crimestoppers.
The campaign launched on 25 July, and each week has focused on different members of the community who are affected by OCGs, including business owners and elderly residents, as well as targeting the members of organised crime groups themselves, which is the focus this week.
Sheffield Superintendent Shaun Morley said: “Twenty-one people who are suspected of being involved in criminal behaviour and activity in our city are currently charged with various offences and are in custody. “I hope this sends out two very clear messages; the first to the law abiding members of the public who do not deserve to be blighted by individuals who choose to live this type of lifestyle, that we are taking robust action and I want to offer my personal assurance this will continue.
“The second message is to those involved in, or who know a loved one or family member associated in criminal activity, or anyone who is thinking about taking this route, that it will not be tolerated and we will do everything we can to ensure the streets of Sheffield remain safe and those partaking in criminality are brought to justice.”
Of the 21 charged, ten men have been charged with firearms offences, five men with possession of an offensive weapon and assault and five men and one woman with possession with intent to supply class A drugs. Last month also saw the Force hold a three-week firearms and knives surrender as a strand of the OCG campaign, encouraging people to hand in any weapons to ensure they could never fall into the wrong hands and into criminal circulation. Thirty firearms were surrendered in Sheffield, along with a range of ammunition and bladed weapons including samurai swords and machetes, further adding to the blitz on crime in the city.
Supt Morley added: “There are a vast array of both overt and covert operations in progress to enable us to reduce the number of OCGs, and I hope with the action taken over the last six weeks, the public have an increased confidence in South Yorkshire Police that we are doing our utmost to tackle criminality in the city.
“If you have any information regarding gangs, the use of firearms or any suspicious activity in your area, I would urge you to please report your concerns either to the police on 101, or anonymously by contacting the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”