Residents of Parson’s Cross fear for their safety after masked men burst into a house with a gun

by Emily Thomson, Lucy Hubbard and Brogan Maguire

Terrified residents claim Parson’s Cross is now blighted by gangs and gun crime, after masked men invaded a home last week.

Last Tuesday night, four men raided a house on Donovan Road, with children inside. The resident battled to keep them out but he was threatened with a gun.

This week, residents said the area needs more help.

Harry Whittaker, 70, retired, said: “It’s because of all the drugs and gangs in the area, it’s getting out of control.”

And Shelly Saunders, 51, who works at the Forty Foot pub, said: “The crime is really bad around here, we have had people run in with guns before because of a disagreement but they got caught. It has been getting worse.”

Hannah Jacobs, 26, stay at home mum, said the area has got a reputation and she fears for the safety of her two children.

Simon Illingworth, 58, plumber, said: “It’s horrible what happened to that poor family, I’ve lived here my whole life and it never used to be this bad. I think the police are trying to help but more needs to be done, definitely.”

South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Stephen Watson to the Star: “We are aware incidents of this nature can be very worrying and distressing to local communities and I would like to offer my reassurance that this violence is taken extremely seriously, and that we will do our utmost to identify offenders and bring them to justice.

“I understand this incident also relates to concerns around gun crime in the area. We have taken, and continue to take, robust action to address, resolve and prevent it. To achieve this, part of this action has included increasing high visibility patrols in the area, as well as gathering intelligence to actively pursue and stop offenders engaging in illegal activity.”

He added that the police have already been able to arrest and charge a number of offenders found in the possession of a firearm.

He said:“We have also been running neighbourhood events to allow local communities to engage directly with us. From these events we have taken feedback, which is now being used to influence and tailor future plans that will be put in place to reduce crime and increase public confidence.

“Everyone here is committed to tackling gun and violent crime across South Yorkshire and any offenders who are engaging in this activity will be appropriately dealt with.

“Our priority is to keep all of our residents safe and we will not stop until this has been achieved. If you would like to report any concerns you may have, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 101, or 999 in an emergency. You can also call the confidential Crimestoppers number on 0800 555 111 or fill out an anonymous Crimestoppers form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.” Read more at: http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/call-for-street-patrols-on-sheffield-estate-after-masked-gunman-bursts-into-home-with-children-inside-1-8529023

Brogan Maguire

20 year old journalism student at University of Sheffield.

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