Local residents were shocked by the death of another young person on 30th October.
Deeq Ali, who was just 18 years old, was shot outside the Plaza on Spital Hill at 2.30am. Abdi Mohammed Omar, aged 24, of Lopham Street, has been charged with his murder.
Many residents, particularly in the Somali community, are devastated by the loss. It comes only months after the death of 18- year-old local resident, Abdulla Awil Mohammed, who was killed in Darnall. Residents, young and old, speak of how much potential the young men had.
Deeq was the youngest of four children and the family’s only son. He was an A grade student, a former pupil at Parkwood School and was studying Human Geography at Sheffield Hallam when he died. One young person said, “Deeq was a quiet and understanding person, he was a role model.”
Members of the local mosque and youth organisations have responded quickly to engage with young people affected by the shooting. The Vestry Hall is currently being used as a youth centre, which is a safe place to socialise with support and guidance on hand from youth workers. A key issue that has been raised is the lack of jobs and opportunities for young people.
Read more about the work in the Vestry:
It is a cause of great fear, for parents and residents alike, that young people can still access guns. The Messenger spoke to Chief Superintendent Simon Torr, District Commander for Sheffield, about the police response to the shooting.
“It is impossible to speak about details before the trial. However, I can say that guns are not widely available in Sheffield and firearms offences have halved in the last 5 years. We continue to work to remove guns from availability.
“Within 12 hours of the shooting, we met with local Councillors and members of the Somali community, including representatives at the local mosque, to explain what we were doing in response.
“In the coming weeks and months, we will continue to support youth workers in the street-based teams and local police officers will be involved in a section 30 Dispersal Order for the Spital Hill area.”
In response to concerns about the length of time Spital Hill was closed, he said,
“We were aware of the importance of opening Spital Hill as soon as possible. However, it was a broad crime scene, and it is important not to miss anything. We rely on forensic specialists, who come from all over the county. Modern forensic science is also very detailed and much of this has to be done in daylight.”
Dispersal Order for Spital Hill
The local police team have been granted permission to implement a Dispersal Order for the Spital Hill area, starting on 1st December, for 6 months. The order will allow the Police to move on people who are in groups of 2 or more that are “likely to cause intimidation” after 9pm. Young people under 16 can also be taken home. Local Police Sergeant, Craig Charlesworth, told the Messenger,
“We are responding to reports from local residents who have told us they feel intimidated by groups around the Vestry Hall, Spital Hill and the Library. While it is not a direct response to the recent shooting, we have taken this into account.
“The order will be carried out by local police officers, who people should recognise. The aim will be to engage with young people and residents, as well as to disperse groups. In a similar operation in Page Hall, only one arrest was made. We hope that Spital Hill will be equally successful. We will work with other organisations who provide positive activities during this operation.”
The Police will be holding a public meeting on 28th November, at 6pm at the Vestry Hall, to explain the Dispersal Order and answer any questions.