Police step up patrols as part of probe into Sunderland gang feud

Police in Fulwell Road, where two cars were stopped and five men arrested.
Police in Fulwell Road, where two cars were stopped and five men arrested.

Police have had a high visibility presence throughout Sunderland today as they probe a shooting arising out of an ongoing criminal feud in the city.

The incident happened on Monday in Edgmond Court, Hollycarrside, when a window was shot at. No one was in the property at the time and no one was injured.

Officers say they believe the incident was as a result of an on-going dispute between two groups in the city.

An investigation was launched into the damage and yesterday five men were arrested after two vehicles were stopped in Fulwell Road.

Several warrants were carried out at addresses in Sunderland and a number of people were arrested.

Further activity has taken place this morning., and so far 12 people have been arrested as a result of police inquiries.

Detectives want to send a clear message to those involved police will be relentless in pursuing them.

Temporary Superintendent Sarah Pitt of southern area command said: “There has been an on-going dispute between two groups within the city which has culminated in an incident involving a firearm and associated criminal activity.

“Public safety is of the utmost priority to us and we will relentlessly pursue those responsible and carry out a robust response to stop this criminal activity immediately.

“I know incidents involving firearms can cause people to feel worried and unsafe and we cannot underestimate the impact this has on our communities.

“I would like to let people know we are doing everything we can to make sure everyone involved is arrested before this dispute escalates any further.

"Thankfully, the number of crimes involving firearms in the city is very low and do not happen very often. However, when they do, the small minority who do use firearms to commit crime can expect a robust response from police, and we make no apology for this.

"Our efforts at stopping firearms being used will not stop at those who directly commit the offence, they will have a network of people assisting them - whether they're providing the firearm or helping the offenders cover their tracks - we will target them.

"We will be relentless in pursuing those involved and as we unravel the network of those involved there may be further police activity in the coming days and weeks, and I would ask our communities are not alarmed by this. It is important that we take this action to prevent anyone coming to serious harm.

"Local communities will see an increased police presence as officers carry out high visibility patrols and again this is nothing for people to be alarmed by, they are there to provide reassurance and anyone who does have any concerns can speak to an officer on patrol."

All 12 people arrested during the inquiries remain in custody.

Anyone who has information about the incident is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101, quoting reference 511 290216, or they can pass information to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.