Armed officers take guns to streets in battle with gangs
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