Birmingham & Black Country

Girl, 9, 'not stopped' over Birmingham store robbery

Police have denied rumours on Twitter that a nine-year-old girl was stopped after a suspected armed robbery at a Birmingham store.

A firearms unit was deployed as part of a search after a robbery on Lichfield Road, Aston, was reported at about 10:30 BST on Thursday.

Police carried out a 'stop and account' on a 15-year-old seen in Church Road.

The West Midlands force said it was aware of a girl aged nine, but she was not spoken to as part of the inquiry.

The contents of the till at the Lichfield Road site was taken in the robbery, which was carried out by a person who had what was believed to be a firearm.

'Explained thoroughly'

Two firearms officers, who were in Church Road in Aston about 20 minutes after the offence was committed, came across a young person fitting the description of the suspect and wearing similar clothing.

One of the officers carried out a 'stop and account', which is where a person is asked to account for their presence in a particular area.

It was quickly established the person who had been stopped was not the suspect and a 'stop and search' was therefore not considered necessary and did not take place, police added.

The West Midlands force said that although the officer was in possession of a firearm, it was not used or referred to as part of the exchange.

The course of action and rationale for the 'stop and account', as well as the presence of firearms officers, was "explained thoroughly" to the parent of the 15-year-old, the force said.

It added that whilst it was aware of a nine-year-old girl who was nearby during the encounter at no point was she spoken to as part of this inquiry.

"The safety of the public is of paramount importance for West Midlands Police and the force will respond robustly to any threat which could involve firearms being used on our streets," a police spokesman said.

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