Response to Arbourthorne Shooting

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner has condemned the shooting of a 12-year-old over the weekend and has pledged to work together with Sheffield City Council and other partners to end violence in the city.

The incident, which involved the discharge of firearms in a public place, is described as “utterly reckless”.

Dr Billings, said: “This needless violence will not be tolerated. We are determined to work together and, with all our partners, to rid Sheffield of the guns and knives that have blighted the lives of individuals and communities.

“A great deal has already been done, including the setting up of the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit at the end of last year. The Unit is looking at the causes of violence and leading the multi-agency approach to tackle. This will be done through hard line action with offenders and by co-ordinating a long-term, preventative approach to violence to tackle the root causes and not simply dealing with the aftermath of crimes.

“There are a number of initiatives running in schools, involving officers and various voluntary groups that work to warn young people of the dangers of carrying knives and other weapons. As well as informing of the dangers and consequences they are also provided with information and resources to help them stay out of danger and how to report any concerns.

“Last year South Yorkshire Police received £2.5m of additional funding to crack down on serious violence. There has been a big increase in stop and search and there have been arrests and prosecutions. Guns and knives have been taken off the streets.

“We have also increased police numbers for the first time since 2010, through the council tax, and this will continue in the coming years with government funding and will make a real difference to our communities. Recruitment is well under way and will continue over the next few years. More officers means more resources to devote to catching criminals and disrupting their activities.

“The police will have whatever resources they need to bring to justice those who threaten our communities with violence.

“But we need the help of the public. We need intelligence. We urge those who have information to come forward. Information can be passed anonymously through Crimestoppers or through 101 or directly to the police.

“It is time for all of us in our different communities to make up our minds that we want an end to violence and an end to carrying weapons on our streets.”