Armed of­fi­cers take guns to streets in bat­tle with gangs

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

ARMED po­lice are now pa­trolling crime hotspots in the West Mid­lands in a bid to stem the ris­ing tide of vi­o­lent crime and gang war­fare, it has been re­vealed.

A se­nior of­fi­cer said they were al­ready at work in ar­eas where it is known that armed crim­i­nal­ity is an is­sue.

The rev­e­la­tion comes af­ter a week which has seen young peo­ple stabbed, shot at and mur­dered.

Last Satur­day, 16-year-old Jay­don James was killed af­ter he was stabbed while out with friends in Coven­try.

Less than 24 hours later, a 15-year-old boy screamed for help af­ter he was chased and stabbed by a gang of five in King­stand­ing.

And on Wed­nes­day an 18-year-old suf­fered gun­shot wounds af­ter be­ing blasted while sit­ting alone in his car in Alum Rock.

West Mid­lands Po­lice con­firmed that ri­fle­car­ry­ing of­fi­cers are now sta­tioned in some of the prime trou­ble spots.

Firearms of­fi­cers are also de­ployed to no­to­ri­ous nightspots “to de­ter armed crim­i­nal­ity around nightclubs”.

West Mid­lands Po­lice Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Dave Stur­man told the Birm­ing­ham Post: “Our armed re­sponse units al­ready work to an in­tel­li­gence-led pa­trol strat­egy to en­sure they pa­trol lo­ca­tions across the re­gion where we know armed crim­i­nal­ity is an is­sue.

“We also re­tain an op­tion to carry out foot pa­trols with armed of­fi­cers if there is a need for this type of tac­tic.

“We al­ready do this for short pe­ri­ods dur­ing Mo­bile Armed Ve­hi­cle Stop op­er­a­tions, where of­fi­cers get out on foot for short pe­ri­ods to en­gage with the pub­lic.

“And we de­ploy on foot out­side nightlife venues if there is an in­tel­li­gence-led re­quire­ment to de­ter armed crim­i­nal­ity around nightclubs.

“This is not a new tac­tic and we re­serve the right to use it when nec­es­sary and when the in­tel­li­gence pic­ture sup­ports such de­ploy­ments.”

> Armed West Mid­lands po­lice of­fi­cers in Coven­try

> Jay­don James, who was killed

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