Has the Steel City Become Gun City?

Steel City or Gun City?

Several months ago the BM Northern region site reported on a series of gangland shootings affecting the city of Sheffield and questioned whether the traditional ‘Steel City’ was now competing with the notorious reputations of Liverpool and Manchester, once dubbed ‘Gunchester’, for shootings and gun related violence.

In the first week of August 2023, Sheffield Crown Court lifted the lid on a violent criminal gang responsible for a spree of gun-related crimes in the city.

Cultural enrichment: just a quick read through of the names involved in the Sheffield gun violence has much to say as to which minority communities are enriching the culture of the main city of South Yorkshire. Needless to say, all those convicted at Sheffield Crown Court on August 2nd 2023 in this
specific trial were not members of the majority White British population.

The Sheffield Gun Gang Trial August 2nd 2023. This trial related to a series of drug and firearms offences committed in Sheffield between July 2020 and September 2022, including three gang related shootings.

The five defendants were:
Awais Ahmed age 23; currently serving a ten-year sentence in HM Prison Berwyn, Wrexham after being convicted in an earlier trial in July 2021 for drug dealing and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. The inclusion of Awais Ahmed at this trial related to additional offences in Sheffield.
Zaheer Ahmed age 26, resident in Glasgow but involved in a series of offences in Sheffield.
Qamar Naia age 27, from Eastwood, Rotherham.
Akaash Iqbal age 24 from Woodseats, Sheffield.
Mohammed Maroof age 27, currently serving a sentence at HMP Moorlands, Doncaster from previous convictions.

The main features of the trial were three shootings in Sheffield, including the targeting of rival gang members, the shooting at a gang rival which wounded his dog, (the dog was later put down by a vet), a shooting by mistake at a property not occupied by a rival, and the shooting and wounding of a 20-year-old man. The court heard that some of the gun related offences were incompetent and badly planned, including the hiding of weapons and ammunition in outdoor locations.

The most serious incident was the shooting of a rival gang member who was shot in the chest and suffered serious injuries. The firing of five shots through the downstairs kitchen window of a house that was in fact the wrong property and was two doors down from the home of a gang rival. There was a wild west element to a shooting in February 2022 when 11 shots were fired at the occupants of two luxury cars after a wedding involving gang rivals.

The five defendants all pleaded guilty and admitted their part in the three-year period of gun related offences and drug dealing in Sheffield.

Awais Ahmed was found guilty of possessing a prohibited firearm, in this case a 9mm handgun. Zaheer Ahmed was found guilty of possessing shotgun ammunition without a licence and ammunition without a certificate. Qamar Naia was found guilty of possessing a prohibited firearm, also possessing a weapon and ammunition. Akaash Iqbal was found guilty of possessing ammunition without a licence, possessing a prohibited firearm, (a sawn-off shotgun) and possessing cannabis with intent to supply. Mohammed Maroof was found guilty of possessing ammunition without a licence.

There are of course a number of features here which are parallel to similar cases in other northern towns and cities previously reported by BM Northern region, including the obvious ethnic backgrounds to the criminal gang involved.

The map of Sheffield (reproduced below) shows the locations of each major incident in this case.


Top Image: Bencherlite, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Sheffield Law Courts, 50 West Bar, Sheffield; the home of Sheffield Crown Court and Sheffield County Court. Sawn-off shotgun image – pngtree.

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