Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham gun crime spike 'of great concern': Police boss

Gun crime generic Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption A recent spate of attacks in areas such as Handsworth, Lozells and Hockley are causing concern for police

A recent spike in gun crime in Birmingham is of "great concern", the police and crime commissioner has said.

Firearms offences had dropped over the past 10 years but the problem was back, said David Jamieson.

Deputy Chief Constable Dave Thompson said he had not known such frequent shootings during his five years with the West Midlands force.

Overall, gun crime figures dropped from 524 in 2014 to 357 in 2015, figures show, but there has been a fresh spike.

Updates on this story and more from Birmingham

A recent spate of attacks in areas such as Handsworth, Lozells and Hockley was causing concern, said police.

"It's fair to say that the problem has come back and we need to re-double our efforts," Mr Thompson told West Midlands Strategic Policing and Crime Board on Tuesday.

"We have had some very serious incidents and there has been a concerning regularity of shootings that I have not seen in the five years that I have been here.

"There is a concern from me that there are more weapons or more ammunition available."

Gun crime in the West Midlands

167 fewer offences in a year, but police are concerned by a recent spike

357

crimes involved firearms in 2015

524

crimes involved firearms in 2014

Thinkstock

Shootings in Birmingham over the past six months

  • 3 January - Three men injured in a shooting on Regent Road in Handsworth
  • 24 December - One of the main routes across Hamstead was closed after shots were fired, no-one was injured
  • 7 Dec - A 19-year-old man was the victim of a drive-by shooting on Lozells Road
  • 30 October - Derek Junior Myers, 25, was shot dead and another man injured in Hockley
  • 10 October - Four men shot in the legs in Birmingham City Centre on New Hampton Street
  • 1 October - Connor Smith was shot dead in Hawksley estate, Kings Norton
  • 17 August - A 17-year-old boy was shot and critically injured in a flat in Rubery
  • 27 June - A 38-year-old man was shot in the shin in West Smethwick Park during an argument with another man
  • 22 June - A man was wounded in the foot after what police believe was a targeted shooting in Highfield Lane, Quinton

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Mr Jamieson told BBC WM's special programme on gun crime: "Over a 10-year period there's been a reduction in the number of crimes with guns in the West Midlands.

"There's a spike upwards and this of course is a great concern to the people in that part of Birmingham... the thing that has to happen in that area is getting the communities to work together to get to the very source.

"This gang culture - one group of people, often involving drugs and criminality, who are fighting each other - that's the thing the local community have to tackle with the police."

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