Mayor Andy Street: 'Unacceptable' knife crime must be tackled

The mayor of the West Midlands has described the current scourge of knife crime across the region as "unacceptable" and "unprecedented".

Mayor Andy Street, left, and PCC David Jamieson
Mayor Andy Street, left, and PCC David Jamieson

Andy Street has warned the situation must be tackled after a spate of stabbings, including three fatal attacks in a two-week period.

He has also offered to work with Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, just days after he was cleared of any wrongdoing over a tweet sent in his name drumming up support for his office to take over the PCCs.

Mr Street said: “In the last few days and weeks we have all been horrified by the tragic murders of young people on our streets. It is an awful situation and I send my sympathy to the families and friends of everyone affected. This situation is totally unacceptable and unprecedented in its seriousness. It must be tackled.

"I firmly believe an issue of this importance transcends the political divide and that everyone will want to play their part in working to protect our residents and young people in particular.

"That is why I have made an open offer to the Police and Crime Commissioner to work with him and others with the stated aim of stepping up our efforts to tackle knife crime in the West Midlands.

Appalling

"Whilst responsibility for law enforcement lies with the PCC and West Midlands Police, on an issue of this seriousness it is incumbent on everyone who can play a part in tackling it to do so. For example, we must make sure that young people have the opportunities to succeed in life and avoid being drawn into violence and other criminal activities.

"We must make it clear that we do not want to be a society where people feel it is acceptable to carry knives. And our response must be centred around those communities that bear the brunt of violent crime.

"I hope our whole region will unite together to tackle this appalling and unacceptable situation.”

In response, Mr Jamieson said he had asked the mayor step-up efforts on opportunities for young people, employment and mentoring.

Hazrat Umar, 17, was found stabbed to death in Bordeseley Green on Monday. On February 20, 16-year-old Abdullah Muhammad was discovered fatally wounded near a park in Small Heath while Sidali Mohamed, also 16, died in hospital on February 15 after being attacked outside a college in Balsall Heath.

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