Concerns over “escalating” violence after dozens of incidents linked to family feud in Leeds

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Concerns have been raised about “escalating” violence in a Leeds suburb following the shooting of a man in the wake of a string of incidents linked to a bitter family feud.

Two men, aged 22 and 23, have been arrested in connection with the shooting of a 28-year-old man outside a house on Middleton Crescent, Beeston, on Thursday.

Detectives are investigating whether the attack is linked to a spate of more than 30 incidents over the last year which have included cars being rammed into homes and businesses, vehicles being torched, physical assaults and criminal damage.

In the most recent incidents a 4x4 was repeatedly reversed into a wall at Catlows estate agents in Dewsbury Road on Wednesday evening and then into a house in Woodlea Mews – where a similar incident happened last month. The Mitsubishi Pajero was later seized on Marley Grove.

The trouble is believed to be part of a long-running feud between rival members of a family in the area.

And local residents and councillors say the continuing problems are worrying.

Beeston and Holbeck councillor Angela Gabriel said: “I’m very worried about what’s going on. It’s not just those involved who are affected – it’s now having an impact on the rest of the community and it seems to be escalating.

“It’s bringing Beeston into the headlines for the wrong reasons once again.

“We need to get people arrested, we need it to stop.”

Coun Mohammed Iqbal, from the City and Hunslet ward, added: “People are very disturbed by it and everybody wants to see and end to it.”

Police have increased patrols and had a heavy presence in the area after Thursday’s shooting.

Beeston resident Jeremy Morton said: “It is causing concern because the issues keep happening. If a car gets burned out or a house gets rammed and it’s only affecting the people involved, that’s one thing.

“But what if you happened to be walking along the street at the time? An innocent bystander could quite easily be caught up in it.”

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Griffin, who is leading the investigation into the shooting, said: “We are looking into whether the shooting is linked to any other incidents in the area but there is no clear evidence that it is at this stage. We have arrested two men, aged 22 and 23, in connection with the incident and our enquiries are progressing.

“We recognise that this incident will cause concern in the community but we would like to reassure people that we are conducting a full and thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding it and will continue to take positive action to identify those involved and bring them to justice.”

The local police inspector, Jon Arrowsuch, added: “We are keen to reassure the community that we are continuing to carry out a comprehensive investigation into all these incidents and remain fully committed to taking robust action against those involved to resolve the situation.”