Two shootings in less than 24 hours have prompted calls from frightened residents for armed police to patrol the streets of Mexborough.
Police were called after a gun was fired through the window of a house on Victoria Street in what detectives believe was a ‘targeted’ attack.
The occupants of the house were not injured and have now been taken to a safe location where they are receiving specialist support.
The incident at around 9pm on Thursday came just 24 hours after officers were called after a gun was fired on Frederick Street in the town on Wednesday night.
Three men were arrested on suspicion of firearm offences after Wednesday’s incident and have since been bailed pending further enquiries.
Detectives say it is too soon to know whether the two incidents are linked but police have confirmed they believe both attacks were ‘targeted’.
And now Mexborough resident and former police officer Frank Knapton MBE says he thinks officers patrolling in the area should be armed.
“How are they supposed to tackle crimes like this if they’re not properly equipped?” said Frank, of Walton Road.
The 79-year-old added: “This is something myself and some of the other residents were calling for last year when some of the problems with these hardened criminals started.
“Some people disagreed, but after these two incidents I can’t see how you could think it’s not needed.
“Victoria Street is one of those old-fashioned streets where people mostly know their neighbours and will know each other’s families, so I think they’re going to be feeling very frightened and shocked by this.”
Mr Knapton said he was saddened but not surprised by the two gun-related incidents.
“We have been having problems with the gangs who have some rivalry and that’s where a lot of it comes from,” he said.
“It’s to do with drugs. We have known about some of the people in the gangs having guns since last year.
“I am pleased to hear that police are increasing patrols. I only hope they catch those responsible before someone gets seriously injured, or killed.
“People in Mexborough will know who these people are, and they should call police and help them catch them. They can also talk to Crimestoppers anonymously if they’re afraid to give their names.”
Police resources have been deployed in Mexborough following the incidents.
Detective Inspector Mark Monteiro said: “I understand that this will be extremely concerning for members of the Mexborough community as well as the wider general public.
“At this stage, we cannot say whether the two incidents are linked however it does appear that they were both targeted and that there is no wider threat to the community.
“Enquiries are ongoing and in the meantime, there will be a high number of uniformed officers in the area as well as increased patrols.
“Residents can be reassured that we have got a number of resources in place to bring those responsible to justice.
- Anyone with information about the Victoria Street incident is asked to contact police on 101 quoting incident 1063 of January 21 2016. People can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.