Eight guns seized and arrests made as police pledge to end Doncaster shootings feud
Police have pledged to end a three month gang feud which has brought a wave of gun violence to Doncaster with eight shootings in the space of three months.
Dozens of officers have made a number of arrests, seized a number of weapons and are continuing to hunt down those responsible for a string of shootings which began in March.
Members of two feuding gangs have been involved in an escalating war which has seen a number of gun attacks on houses – some of them in broad daylight.
Now South Yorkshire Police are stepping up the fight to bring those responsible to justice – and have urged anyone with information to come forward.
Force chiefs have also moved to reassure people that the incidents are all connected and that there is no wider threat to the general public.
DCI Jamie Henderson, who is leading the investigation, has said police will do all it takes to bring the feud to an end and said officers were determined to hunt down all those involved.
He said: “These are different rival groups, the people taking part in this activity are known to each other and we are following several different lines of enquiry to find all of those involved. Some of these incidents are reprisal attacks.
"We want to reassure the public that we are doing everything we can and people will see some very robust policing measures to make sure we get those responsible.”
The wave of violence began in March when a house in Broxholme Lane, Wheatley was shot at.
A few weeks later, a property in Maple Avenue, Cantley was attacked before windows were shot through at a house in Malvern Road, Intake.
The feud stepped up in May when a 30-year-old man was serioulsy injured at a house in Aldesworth Road, Cantley. A 52-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
Windows were then put through after shots were fired at house on the corner of Thorne Road and Winchester Avenue in Wheatley and then trouble returned to Aldesworth Road a few days later when the property was attacked by men with guns and then set on fire.
And then on May 20 and 21, shots were fired at houses in Barnby Dun Road and Exeter Road, Wheatley, respectively.
Many of the incidents have involved groups of men pulling up in cars and opening fire on the premises, before fleeing.
DCI Henderson said: "I know these communities are really worried about these incidents but we want to reassure people that they appear to be targeted attacks.”
He said that eight weapons had so far been seized, with a number of men arrested.
Forensic tests are being carried out on the guns to see if they are linked to any further crimes.
He also said that the wave of violence extended beyond the shootings, with a number of violent assaults, fire damage to vehicles and properties, street fights and other crimes being investigated by police.
Added DCI Henderson: “We are determined to get to the bottom of what’s behind all this. Whether it be drugs, some other sort of crime, we will keep investigating all those we know and suspect to be involved.”
Traffic officers, armed response units and specialist teams of detectives are all probing the shootings, with increased police patrols in Cantley, Wheatley and Intake in recent weeks.
And DCI Henderson said he expects further warrants to be carried out in the coming days and weeks, with police using stop and search powers for drivers behaving suspicously.
He said: “People shouldn't be concerned if they see this and if they see our colleagues they should speak to them about what is going on.
"They can also talk to them and report any information they may have.
“We understand people living in the affected areas are bound to be worried, especially as some of these attacks have been in broad daylight. We can totally understand the community concerns and want to let people know that we are doing all we can and working on many different leads.
"Lots of people know what all this is about and will have vital information, possibly about family members or friends who may be involved.
"We would urge people to come foward and tell us what they know. We are taking this extremely seriously.”
Anyone with information can contact South Yorkshire Police on 101, CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111 or in the event of an emergency, contact 999.