KIRKLEES’ top police officer has urged the community to come forward with information to help the force tackle gun and drug crime.
Chief Supt Steve Cotter, of Kirklees police, spoke to the Examiner to reassure the community that the force was doing all it could to crackdown on firearms offences.
Mr Cotter was speaking in the wake of two separate incidents in Dalton Fold Road, Rawthorpe, and The Ghyll at Fixby last weekend.
“Incidents such as these understandably cause great concern for residents and we’ve increased patrols to provide extra reassurance,” he said.
“I don’t want anyone to be under the illusion that in Kirklees anybody who engages in the supply of controlled drugs or the violence associated with it, such as firearms, will escape justice.
“I’ve got a dedicated team that target gangs involved in the supply of controlled drugs and the illegal use of firearms and we will act on any information the community provide to assist us.”
Mr Cotter said already this year his team had made 181 arrests specifically in relation to drugs and firearms offences and in excess of 197 search warrants had been executed in the last 12 months.
He added: “If you’ve got information or intelligence on those who engage in this illegal activity, pass it on to us so we can act upon it.”
The focus on firearms comes after West Yorkshire’s force wide weapons amnesty earlier this year which saw more than 100 weapons destroyed.
West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson also said violent crime was a priority.
He said: “I do not underestimate the effect that offences like this have on the community and it is of paramount importance that we do everything we can to prevent them to reduce the threat, risk and harm in our communities in Kirklees and West Yorkshire.
“There is extensive proactive work on-going to tackle firearms and weapons offences, including the use of specialised teams and investigators as well as partnership operations with the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Regional Organised Crime Unit based in WYP.”
Anyone with information on any of the incidents can contact West Yorkshire Police on 101 or information can also be passed anonymously to independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 111 555.