“My initial reaction was shock and then the fear set in”. – Locals react to recent South Yorkshire gun violence.

22 April 2021

Following the fatal shooting of Khuram Javed, locals have come forward to express their fears of gun violence in the South Yorkshire region.

The crime which happened on April 10 has left many fearful about the level of gun crime in the city.

Linda Ozola, 22, a media student at Sheffield Hallam University, has described the events as “frightening.”

“I was in Grantham at that time. But it’s just across the street from my accommodation. I could see the police outside days after from my bedroom window,” she stated.

Linda returned to her accommodation only hours after the shooting, the following morning.

“I came back to Sheffield the next day. Almost didn’t come back cause it’s scary something like that happening next to your home.

“I go to the shop at night a lot, so when there’s violence right next to your home, it makes it difficult to feel safe.”

Before moving to Sheffield, safety wasn’t a major concern for Linda.  She said: “Before I picked my uni, I researched how safe it is to live here.

“I found that the right areas in Sheffield (city centre and some areas around) are safe with low crime rates. Obviously, there will be areas which are rough, and you can’t escape crime anywhere.”

Sheffield has been plagued with shootings, with the death of Khuram Javed being the ninth gun-related offence so far this year.

Chloe Drury, 19, a law student at The University of Sheffield, states that she “was only a few streets away.”

She said: “It’s horrible to think that someone was killed so close to your home, and you become fearful of leaving your home.

“I don’t recall hearing anything on that night. But there have been nights since where I’ve heard bangs without seeing fireworks, and it’s genuinely crossed my mind whether it is a firework I just can’t see or a gunshot.”

Chloe has called for the council to increase police involvement in Gun and Gang crime, stating: “Something needs to be done.

“I struggle to think what can be done to tackle this other than higher police involvement. Or maybe police designated to deal with tackling these particular crimes. But it’s hard to think how to deter it. Especially when the attacks seem so random.”

Chloe has suggested to try and bring awareness of this issue to Children and Young Adults. She said: “Children should not only be advised of it but given means of protecting them from it.

“Whether that be through youth clubs to get them off the street or some system whereby kids don’t get dragged into it.”

To support the family of Khuram Javed, please visit here.

Written by Richard Hunt

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