Shocking toll of gun and knife crime in West Yorkshire

Stark figures show the scale of gun and knife crime in West Yorkshire. In the past two years almost 500 people have suffered a knife attack and 28 have been stabbed to death.

A further 280 have been shot – four of them died and almost 50 were left seriously hurt.

The victims have ranged from schoolboys and young dads to grandmothers and policemen.

Today, one survivor told the YEP more had to be done to stem the tide of violence. Gary Hawley, 52, was knifed three times when he went to the aid of a woman being harassed by yobs in Yeadon High Street, Leeds, in 2006.

He said: "Almost every day people are being hurt or killed by knives or guns. More has to be done to get these lethal weapons off the streets."

Other victims over the past two years have included:

Pat Regan, an anti-violence campaigner stabbed to death by her grandson Rakeim in June 2008;

Teenager Ahmed Hassan killed as he waited at Dewsbury train station in December 2007;

Young dad Adam Chadwick, shot dead as he answered the door of a house in Harehills in June 2008;

Darren Bennett who had a knife plunged six inches into his back as he tried to calm a disturbance in Middleton in summer 2008;

Agnes Dione Mbong who staggered into a Chapeltown street after being knifed by an ex-boyfriend in November;

Dale Orange who was stabbed by his girlfriend's ex-partner as he slept in Morley, Leeds, in October 2008.

In February a police officer was stabbed twice as he tried to detain a suspect in The Headrow, Leeds.

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In the same month, after violence flared in Harehills and Chapeltown, a man was shot in the face and three people were stabbed.

West Yorkshire Police stressed that there had been a nine per cent decrease in shootings and stabbings in 2008, compared to 2007.

Inspector Steve Emmett said: "Compared with other areas we do not have a serious knife crime problem but we are not complacent and will work to ensure it continues to reduce."

The figures were obtained by the YEP under the Freedom of Information Act. They have never been published in this format before.

Daniel Brown.

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