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The BBC's John Thorne
"A power battle inside the criminal fraternity"
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Tuesday, 16 May, 2000, 13:40 GMT 14:40 UK
Police deny 'anarchy' after gun deaths
Darfield Street, Leeds
The dead men were dumped in this street in Leeds
A senior police officer investigating a double killing in Leeds - the ninth shooting in the city in the last two months - has denied the streets are descending into anarchy.

The bodies of Clifton Bryan, 29, and Denis Wilson, 38, were found in a car in the suburb of Harehills on Monday. Both had been shot.

Four people have been killed in Leeds in the past two months and six others seriously injured.

On Monday the chairman of the Police Federation, Fred Broughton, said many inner cities, including Leeds, had become virtual no-go areas because of violence and a lack of a police.

"There is a sense of disorder, and anarchy in many of these areas," said Mr Broughton.

But Detective Superintendent Grahame Bullock said: "We are not in the middle of anarchy on the streets of Leeds.

Click here to see a map of the shootings

"Sometimes comments like that can be unhelpful. We've had a number of specifically targeted attacks on known individuals. That doesn't suggest anarchy to me."

Mr Bryan survived being shot in the back and stomach in March but he was not so lucky this time.

Craig Mirfield
Craig Mirfield was gunned down in Gipton in March
Mr Bullock said officers were looking at connections between some of the incidents and a drugs link had not been ruled out.

Mr Bryan, from Leeds, and Mr Wilson, from Stretford, Manchester, were both "known to the police".

Mr Bullock said Mr Bryan, who was "known to mix with the criminal fraternity", was also shot in 1993.

"I wouldn't rule out drugs, it's a possible motive. I am keeping an open mind," said Mr Bullock.

Appeal for calm

It is believed the men were killed on Sunday afternoon or evening elsewhere in the city and the bodies later dumped in the car.

West Yorkshire officers are liaising with Greater Manchester Police and believe the murder scene could be anywhere between Leeds and Manchester.

Mr Bullock said it was possible the shootings were part of a power struggle in the Leeds underworld and added: "I would sincerely hope there aren't going to be any reprisals. I am appealing for calm."

In March 34-year-old Craig Mirfield was killed in his car as he tried to escape a gunman in Gipton.

Last month Frank Birley, 33, was shot dead in the Meanwood area of the city.

  • A man in his 20s was arrested in Manchester on Tuesday in connection with the deaths and is being questioned by officers from West Yorkshire.

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