A twelve-year-old boy is charged with murder, residents describe one district of the city as being “like the Bronx” – what does that say about the city of Sheffield and about the state of British society?
In 2023 it is a sad reflection on British society and the decline in ‘British values’ that those towns and cities that are the most multi-racial and multicultural in population makeup are also the most regarded as being crime-ridden and violent.
Outside Greater London, the urban centres most noted as being ‘cosmopolitan’ and also having a reputation for gun-violence and shootings, top of the list would be Liverpool and Manchester. It is only a short hop back in time to the 1990’s when Manchester was nicknamed ‘Gunchester’ because of the frequency of gang related shootings and possession of illegal firearms. Now Sheffield is being added to that shameful list.
In a recent report in the Sheffield Star newspaper online, a correspondent told the readership about the decline of Sheffield city centre; “Lousy access, a parking nightmare, and scruffy litter laden streets.” There was also dispairing references to unsavoury folk hanging around, petty crime and the loss of economic activity. In short succession, Sheffield has earned the infamy of having a 12-year-old boy charged with murder, a very rare instance in British justice, the last time a murder was committed by someone who is legally a child was 30 years ago.
So far, most details of the case are being deliberately withheld, but the boy has been charged with causing the death of a black social worker Marcia Grant, age 60, by running over her with her own car on the driveway of her house on Hemper Lane in the Greenhill district of Sheffield. He was arrested by police within hours of the killing and appeared before Sheffield Youth Court on April 8th 2023.
In keeping with modern British legal requirements around the prosecution of a child for a crime, his name, address and ethnic background were not released to the public, the lad was also charged with the lesser crime of being in possession of a bladed weapon, probably a knife. The young age of the defendant means that the case is being rushed through the courts; the 12-year-old will appear in court again on May 5th, with a view to bringing him to trial in an adult court in August.
Official South Yorkshire Police statistics for violent crime in Sheffield across last year, 2022, give the following data; 11 murders, 13 stabbings, 7 shootings, 5 sexual assaults but only 1 rape. This year 2023, on Easter Sunday morning, at roughly 1.30am, the police were alerted to a shooting on Callow Drive in the Gleadless Valley district of Sheffield. The victim, Abdullah Hassan, age 25 years, was killed outright by a single gunshot. South Yorkshire Police describe their investigation to the killing as ‘ongoing’.
By all means not all gun crime in Sheffield involves members of the ethnic minority population of the city, either as being responsible for gun crimes or as victims. But for some reason ‘persons of colour’ do appear to be disproportionately involved compared with the majority White British population.
By way of example is the case of Asad Khalid, age 29, from Rotherham, who was sentenced on January 12th 2023, at Sheffield Crown Court to 18 years in prison for drug and firearm offences. For his regular job, Asad Khalid ran a bakery in Rotherham, but his 18 years in prison were earned for his illegal activities across the Sheffield city area dealing in heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine, and in trafficking illegal Glock handguns and ammunition. He was also involved in trading in Class A drugs and guns to criminal gangs in the Midlands and London.
“Guns kill and maim, and those that become involved in supplying them to the criminal underworld where they can be used with appalling effect, be they used in gang warfare or be they used for other criminal enterprises, must expect long sentences.”Judge Sarah Wright
So the once famous industrial city of Sheffield is sliding into decline not only economically, but also in reputation. Never mind, the Labour Party still controls Sheffield’s politics and ‘celebrates’ the city’s diversity and offers sanctuary to ‘refugees’ and asylum-seekers.
Top Image: Sheffield in the 19th century. The dominance of industry in the city is evident. J.R.B (from inscription on image), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Bottom Image: Asad Khalid. South Yorkshire Police.
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