Paramedics in the West Midlands are dealing with 30 stabbing and shooting attacks a week, it has emerged in data published days after police came under fire for its slow response to a crazed machete attacker in Birmingham city centre.
The region, which is Britain’s most ethnically diverse outside of Greater London, has been suffering “epidemic” levels of violence, according to the Express & Star, reporting a sharp rise in violent crime in the past two years.
Figures released by the West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) revealed that emergency services responded to 1,512 incidents involving a person being shot or stabbed in 2017/18 — an increase of 29 per cent from 2015/16, when 1,174 incidents were recorded.
The service has specialist trauma teams on call for dealing with victims of violent crime including those suffering knife-inflicted injuries, reported the Express & Star, noting the West Midlands has seen eight fatal blade attacks amongst 20 murders in the first six months of 2017/18, as well as “dozens of shootings, non-fatal stabbings and gang related incidents”.
West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) nominated in diversity awards for its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) network https://t.co/UcsozKZARn
— Dipa Vaya (@DipaJVaya) June 16, 2018
WMAS spokesman Jamie Arrowsmith told the newspaper: “Far too often, our staff see the serious consequences of knife crime with patients suffering very serious, and sometimes fatal, injuries.
“One knife-related crime is one too many and we would encourage everyone to think about the potential consequences of their actions before carrying a knife with them.”
Shoppers have been frightened away from parts of Birmingham city centre since the beginning of this year as “horrifying” levels of youth violence and gang crime have turned Dale End into a “war zone”, local media reports.
After officers took more than half an hour to reach a machete attack taking place in the city centre just five minutes’ walk from a police station — with the suspect escaping during the delay — the Birmingham Mail slammed the slow response from West Midlands Police, which Breitbart London reported last year boosted the number of online ‘hate crime’ arrests almost 900 per cent from 2016.
Appeal after man attacked with machete in Birmingham city centre https://t.co/2L41WCsxK7
— Birmingham Live (@birmingham_live) June 13, 2018
The newspaper also questioned why the force waited a week before putting out a public appeal for information about the attack, footage posted online of which showed a male drawing a huge machete and using it to strike an innocent bystander in the back.
Just minutes before the incident, the attacker had visited a nearby shoe shop and requested staff there sharpen his blade, according to BirminghamLive.
Detective Inspector Greg Evans, said: “This was a shocking incident in which a male was caught on CCTV producing a machete from his waistband and seemingly striking a man at random.”
A 17-year-old suspect was arrested in Manchester on Monday.
A string of serious brawls which have featured as many as 80 people caught up in the melee have been reported since the beginning of the year, participants of which have been caught brandishing a variety of objects as weapons including meat cleavers and rolling pins.
A 43-year-old security worker and self-described “big lad” said that working in Dale End had taken its toll, telling the Mail: “I left Birmingham because of the violence, I left because it was all too much and I didn’t feel safe. I haven’t been back since.”
Rivers of Blood: Boy Killed After Gangs Brawl With Machetes in Enoch Powell’s Old Constituency of Wolverhampton https://t.co/731jB5Okad
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 3, 2018
“You never knew who was going to start on you, and pull a needle or a knife or a hammer or anything on you,” he said, revealing police have “lost control” of Dale End, with drug dealers operating in the open and homeless people injecting heroin and leaving needles “everywhere in the car park”.
According to the unnamed worker, who was employed as a loss prevention officer to protect the area’s shopping precincts, “all hell breaks out” each weekday afternoon as schoolchildren descend on Birmingham city centre — where locals say they cause “carnage” with mass brawls and “chaos” to local business, robbing shopkeepers and passers-by, while he warned that at night, it “has got to the stage now where it’s not safe to walk down Dale End or Albert Street”.
“It’s unbelievable, it sounds really bad, it’s worse than that. I see all these different videos of attacks in Alum Rock and Handsworth and gangs on Broad Street — that ain’t nothing. This is happening every single day in Dale End,” he told the Mail.
“Dale End High Street it’s like a war zone. It is absolutely like a war zone.
Mayor: Our diversity is an asset for the West Midlands https://t.co/LUGArrCA6o
— Andy Street (@andy4wm) May 24, 2018