Twelve people have been arrested in a series of raids after a shot was fired at a house in Sunderland.
The arrests were in connection to an incident that happened on Monday at around 1.40pm when the window of a house was shot at on Edgmond Court in Hollycarrside.
Earlier today two vehicles were stopped by armed police in Fulwell Road. Five men have since been arrested while a further seven people were arrested at various homes across Sunderland as part of police enquiries.
Southern Area Command Chief Inspector Paul Milner said: “Our priority is ensuring the safety of members of the public and while we do not believe those involved intend to harm wider members of the public it is important that their actions are stopped immediately.
“We have carried out warrants this afternoon and arrested seven people who are currently in police custody. Five people were also arrested after two vehicles were stopped in Fulwell Road. Our enquiries are continuing into this incident and we are not ruling out more arrests.
“We know our communities will be concerned and I would like to reassure them we are doing everything we can to ensure everyone who is involved is arrested. This may mean over the course of the next few days or weeks there will be further activity and I would ask that our communities are not alarmed by this.
“We will have extra officers on patrol in the areas that are affected and I would urge anyone who is concerned to speak to an officer on patrol or they can ring us on 101 and ask to speak to the local neighbourhood policing team.”
Anyone with information should contact Northumbria Police on 101 quoting reference 511 290216 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Police are carrying out high visibility patrols throughout Sunderland as officers continue to pursue those involved in a shooting and criminal activity in the city.
The incident happened on Monday (February 29) in Edgmond Court when a window was shot at. No-one was in the property at the time and no-one was injured.
Officers 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 on Tuesday (March 1) 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.
So far, 12 people have been arrested as a result of police enquiries.
Detectives want to send a clear message to those involved police will be relentless in pursuing them.
Southern Area Command T/Superintendent Sarah Pitt 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.”
Those arrested remain in custody.
Three more people arrested in connection with the shooting. Brings the total of 15 arrests.