West Midlands police release new Birmingham riot images
- 20 August 2011
- From the section Birmingham & Black Country
New CCTV of the riots in Birmingham shows police officers being shot at, the West Midlands force has said.
The footage, which has been released by the police to encourage members of the public to come forward, shows a group in the Newtown area late on 9 August.
The group, all masked and all wearing black clothing, caused extensive damage at the Bartons Arms pub.
Shots were also fired at the police helicopter and petrol bombs thrown at a marked police car, the force said.
Officers have started an attempted murder and arson investigation, and appealed for anyone with information about the attacks to contact them.
A police spokesman said a small amount of money was stolen from the pub, but the use of alcohol and petrol led police to believe that the intention was to start a fire.
Chief Constable Chris Sims said: "Releasing footage that is so disturbing in nature is an unusual step for us as a force, however, the potential for serious harm, or worse, in this incident has led us to this decision.
"Eleven shots were fired at unarmed officers to enable disorder to continue, whilst petrol bombs were also thrown at officers who initially attended the scene.
"This footage shows seemingly co-ordinated criminal behaviour with no regard for people's lives, whether it be through the setting of a fire, shooting at unarmed officers or shooting at the police helicopter.
"This investigation is being treated as attempted murder and arson, and I am only thankful that this is not a murder inquiry.
"This was not only police officers' lives that were put at risk, but also members of the public who may have been passing by.
"To date the public reaction to this operation has been overwhelming and we thank people for their continued support."