Public meeting planned with police after latest shooting on Doncaster estate

Cantley had not traditionally been known for its gun crime.

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 10:07 am

But the estate, not far from the centre of Doncaster has seen a spate of three incidents involving guns in little over a month.

Four years ago, Cantley hit the headlines when three men were injured in a shooting near the Cantley Lodge pub, in what was described at the time as an isolated incident. The pub has since closed and is expected to be turned into a retail site.

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Police on the scene of the latest gun incident on Aldesworth Road, Cantley, Doncaster

But since April 12, the estate, home to a cross section of residents from young families to pensioners, has seen three incidents involving guns.

The April 12 incident saw shots being fired at a house in Maple Avenue.

Two people were arrested at the scene.

Then on May 6, a man was injured after an alleged shooting on Aldesworth Road. The 30-year-old went to hospital with serious injuries, and a 52-year-old man was later arrested and charged with attempted murder.

Cantley resident Dave Fairlclough says Cantley is still a great place to live

Then on May 18, shots were fired at the house on Aldesworth Road again, and the property set alight. A car parked outside the house was also damaged.

Nobody was inside the property at the time.

Police say the investigation is in its early stages, but officers are linking it to an incident at the address on Thursday May 6.

Coun Majid Khan, who represents Cantley on Doncaster Council, said he had people raising concern after the shooting in April. But he added most of the concerns that were raised around crime in the area have tended to be around speeding and burglary, along with the non-crime issue of litter.

Police on the scene of the latest gun incident on Aldesworth Road, Cantley, Doncaster

Last week road safety was highlighted when a van collided with a lamp post on Everingham Road, landing upside down. The driver was said to have fled.

Coun Khan believes speeding cars around Ascot Avenue and Everingham Road have been connected to lockdown and the emptier roads. He believes a rise in burglaries may be due to lockdown easing, and people going out more.

But he wants people to have the chance to air all these issues – and has called a public meeting on crime, to take place next month, on June 1 at Wilby Carr Community Centre.

He will be there along with police and officials from Doncaster Council and St Leger Homes.

Police on the scene of the latest gun incident on Aldesworth Road, Cantley, Doncaster

He said: “I want this to be able to help allay the concerns of the community. My own opinion with the shootings is that they have been targeted and the wider public are not at risk. I want us to have a public meeting so people can put forward their concerns and fears, and get responses.”

There will be limited numbers at the meeting due to coronavirus restrictions and those wanting to attend should contact Coun Khan on 07952 565655 or [email protected] to book a place.

Residents living close to Aldesworth Road were shocked by what had happened this month – but still felt Cantley was a good place to live.

One resident on the street who did not give his name said he could not be shocked by anything after what had happened in the last couple of weeks.

Another nearby resident who did not want to be named said she was concerned that there was drugs dealing going on in Cantley, and that may be connected with what was going on.

She said “What happened here the other night is not what you want on your doorstep.”

She described the area as 'quiet, but not quiet', and said she was still happy to live in the area.

Another woman who declined to give her name, who was walking her dog past the police cordon after the latest incident said she had not had any problems in Cantley.

“I’ve lived here nine years, and everyone is friendly, that’s the main thing. That’s not changed. I think this is just an isolated incident."

Peter Cator, aged 71, was walking past the police cordon. He said he lived nearby.

He said: “This is not a violent area. I’ve lived here six or seven years now, and it’s always been all right. Me and my wife can walk the streets and go out at night, and can go out and take the dog out. I’ve never seen any guns or violence. But guns seem to be becoming an issue all over the country.

"I heard sirens the night the most recent incident happened, and you could see the flashing blue lights, but we stayed in. But I think this is still a good place to live. I think this will blow over. It’s such a shame people can’t live together.”

Resident Dave Fairclough, aged 69, has lived in Cantley for 40 years and did not see anything of the latest gun incident.

"I heard a couple of loud bangs and thought people were letting fireworks off,” he said. “I think crime is getting worse and there is not enough of a deterrent any more. I think the police’s hands are tied as to what they can do.

"Before the latest incident his was a beautiful area, and it is a nice place to live still. It's quiet and peaceful, and I have got good neighbours. It’s the first time things like this have happened, and it is not just this estate where things like that happen.

"I’m still happy living here, and would not move from here.”

Gavin Bennett, aged 57, said he had lived in Cantley all his life. He said although what happened had been a bit worrying it was still a nice place to live.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.