Firearms seized in week of targeted raids across South Yorkshire

Date published: 25 July 2020 11:34
Dated: 22 July 2020 09:14:55

Three guns and over £60,000 was seized by our officers last week as part of seven days of high-intensity action across Sheffield, Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster.

Seventy one warrants at addresses across South Yorkshire also resulted in an estimated £3 million worth of drugs, including heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis being taken off the streets.

Officers from our Tasking Teams, Proactive CID and Neighbourhood Teams worked together to tackle organised and violent crime and supported by our Operational Support Unit they arrested 98 people.

Arrests were made for a range of offences including; possession of firearms, possession with intent to supply Class A and Class B drugs, possession of offensive weapons, assault and acquisition and possession of criminal property.

Twenty three people have already been charged and two people have been recalled to prison.

Throughout the week, specialist officers seized a shotgun from an address in the Manor area of Sheffield and two firearms were also recovered during searches in Rotherham. 

One man has been charged in connection to the seizure in Sheffield, whilst enquiries are continuing in relation to the other weapons.

Temporary Superintendent Ian Proffitt said: “Our disruption activity has been directly in response to some of the violent incidents we have seen on our streets since the start of the year.

“In Sheffield, there have been a number of shootings in several of our communities. These are all being treated as targeted incidents, involving people we believe to be engaging in organised criminal activity in the city.

“Over the last week, we have raided a significant number of properties, with the aim of destabilising drug supply and production networks that feed into this type of criminality.”

The week started with four simultaneous warrants at addresses in Rotherham with officers seizing Class A drugs and cash.

On Tuesday, Proactive CID and the Sheffield South East Neighbourhood Team raided a disused social club in Darnall which was being used to cultivate huge cannabis crops. 

Officers seized plants with an estimated street value of £1.2 million, which were growing in a labyrinth of rooms and cellars beneath the building.

T/Supt Proffitt added: “For those people who ask why we target the production of Class B drugs such as cannabis, my answer is simple: production and supply of this drug provides the cash these groups need to fund other supply lines.

“These cannabis cultivations also drive violence, as groups seek to influence local markets, and in some cases large amounts of money leave the UK to criminal groups overseas.

“The people behind these set-ups exploit vulnerable people and they use violence against those at the bottom of the chain, it’s our duty to protect those people and stop exploitation from happening.

“In addition to this, the impact of these set-ups on landlords and neighbouring properties can be distressing and expensive. I would urge anyone who things cannabis is being grown where they live to report it to us, so we can take action based on intelligence.”

Over the last week, officers have also targeted key nominals, individuals who are wanted in connection with a range of offences.

Our Serious Violent Crime Taskforce have also assisted with 45 stop searches across the county.

T/Supt Proffitt said: “We have had a successful week of co-ordinated activity, but this is the type of work happening every day across South Yorkshire under Operation Fortify; our force wide approach to tackling violent crime. 

“For example, between 23 June and 2 July, Sheffield’s teams seized 687 cannabis plants, this is business as usual. The difference over the last week is that we’ve turned the pressure up, which should send a warning signal to those involved in organised crime.

“If you look at the weapon seizures alone, this will undoubtedly have an impact; there are three fewer firearms in the hands of individuals intent on causing fear. I hope this is reassuring to our communities.

“Community intelligence is vital in driving police activity of this nature and I want to appeal to the public to continue to supply information around violent incidents and drug supply or production.

"You can do this through your local neighbourhood team, by calling 101 or speaking to Crimestoppers.”

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