Sheffield & South Yorkshire

South Yorkshire's crime gangs pose "significant risk" says PCC report

Guns on a table
Image caption Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Barber said the actual use of guns was "fairly limited"

There are more than 100 organised crime gangs which pose a "significant risk" in South Yorkshire, a police report has found.

The report, compiled for the county's police and crime commissioner, found of the 105 gangs identified, 27 had links to firearms and 44 to drugs.

South Yorkshire Police said tackling firearms gangs was its priority.

Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Barber said the actual use of guns was "fairly limited" in South Yorkshire.

The ACC said the number of gangs was on par with the size of the county's population and not all were active.

'Break the cycle'

"The reality is, most of the offending is against each other", she said.

The force is keen to find out how the guns, mostly reactivated firearms, enter the county, according to the report.

It also found gangs were involved in immigration and child sexual exploitation.

The force said it was working with local authorities to help children with family members in gangs "break the cycle" of criminal activity, ACC Barber said.

Craig Patterson, lecturer in criminology at Sheffield Hallam University, said many of the gangs would "be linked to lower-level criminality" and would have a "less visible threat" compared to other cities including Leeds, Manchester or Birmingham.

The report was produced for a Public Accountability Board meeting chaired by Dr Alan Billings, the South Yorkshire PCC.

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