Birmingham knife crime

Boy 'lucky to be alive' after park stabbing

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

The mother of a son with learning difficulties stabbed and robbed in a Dudley park last month said he was "very, very lucky to be alive".

Jack Harley, 14, was first assaulted and robbed before being stabbed in Priory Park, Dudley on 17 April.

Priory Park
Google

His mother Diane said the two youths "punched and kicked him to the head and knocked him to the ground," before robbing him of his earphones.

One of the youths then used a knife to stab Jack hard enough to break his arm, after he put his arms up to protect himself.

"If the stab wound was half an inch to an inch, the surgeon said, higher in his arm he wouldn't be here," his mother told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"This week he's been very, very angry, he's had flashbacks, we've had tears.

"They just think it's a game, it's children it's not adults, that's the heartbreaking thing, it's children that are picking up these weapons and think it's clever - it's not - it's a cowards way out."

Two boys aged 15 were arrested on suspicion of robbery and released on police bail pending further inquiries, said West Midlands Police.

Knife offenders 'don't have anything to lose'

The Chief Constable of West Midlands Police says the £7m extra funding his force has been given by the government to tackle knife crime will help, but won't solve the problem.

Knife crime West Midlands
BBC

Figures published by the police showed in the year up to September in the West Midlands force area there were 3,108 offences recorded, a rise of 19% on the year before and almost double the number recorded in 2013.

Dave Thompson said some offenders "didn't have anything to lose" and were "not thinking about the consequences" of their actions.

"There's got to be a dread of detection, a dread of the consequences, but you know I've looked at some of the cases we had, cases where really the likelihood of the offender being caught is obvious and yet, you know, the incident results in a murder.

"Perhaps because they don't think they have anything to lose and don't live a life where they think anymore further than the immediate."

'Rise in knife crime down to massive decline in youth services'

Out of the 100 people fatally stabbed in the UK so far this year, eight were from the West Midlands.

Hazrat Umar
Family handout

Nazir Azfal is a former chief prosecutor in Greater Manchester, whose nephew was fatally stabbed in Birmingham earlier this year.

In February Hazrat Umar, became the third teenager within 12 days to be stabbed to death in Birmingham.

The 18-year-old, who was a student at the South and City College in the city, suffered fatal stab injuries in Bordesley Green.

Mr Azfal said a "massive decline in youth services" had contributed to stabbings in some areas of the country.

"If young people haven't got places to go, if they're going to congregate in places where they're at risk, if they're going to find - as some of them do - that they join gangs for example as a protective measure, then they're sadly liable to being harmed."

A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is due to stand trial charged with murder at Birmingham Crown Court on 10 June.

Police given £7.6m to tackle violent crime

BBC WM

West Midlands Police has been given an extra £7.6m by the government to tackle serious violence.

Tent in Wolverhampton after shooting on Monday
BBC

The Home Office has today revealed how it's distributed the last of a £100m fund it announced in March after a rise in violent crime.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said he wanted the police forces to take "urgent action" such as having more officers on duty in the worst-affected areas.

It comes after shootings in Wolverhampton and Birmingham this week and a string of stabbings since January in the West Midlands area.

The latest Office of National Statistics figures show West Midlands Police recorded 24 gun offences per 100,000 residents in the force area in 2017-2018, more than double the average for England and Wales.

BreakingTwo stabbed at snooker club

Allen Cook

BBC News

Two men have been stabbed at a snooker club in Birmingham.

Entrance to Big Shot Snooker Club
Google

Police said they were called to reports of disorder inside the Big Shot Snooker Club, Highfield Road, Alum Rock, at around 21:15 on Tuesday.

They say they believe two 18-year-old men were robbed and then stabbed.

Both are in hospital with injuries which officers say are not life-threatening.