West Midlands Chief Constable thanks public after Birmingham stabbings
The West Midlands' Chief Constable has thanked members of the public who tried to help those injured in multiple stabbings in Birmingham at the weekend.
Jacob Billington, 23, suffered fatal injuries in Irving Street in the early hours of Sunday morning.
A man and a woman, aged 19 and 32 years old, suffered serious stab injuries and remain in hospital in a critical condition. Five other people, aged between 23 and 33, were less seriously hurt.
The first attack happened in Constitution Hill followed by further stabbings in Livery Street, Irving Street and Hurst Street.
A 27-year-old man was arrested on Monday morning. He remained in police custody last night.
In a statement, Chief Constable Dave Thompson, described the events of the weekend as "extraordinary" – and said it was "quite unlike anything I have seen on our streets before".
He said: "In the early hours of Monday morning, West Midlands Police arrested a 27-year-old man in connection with the stabbings in Birmingham city centre on Saturday night. Our investigations are ongoing.
"The events of the weekend have been extraordinary. These are events quite unlike anything I have seen on our streets before. They have also been tragic with the awful loss of life and serious injuries we have seen. My thoughts are very much with the victims and their families.
"I want to offer my thanks to the members of the force and the West Midlands Ambulance Service who responded on the night and to those staff who are now part of a fast moving investigation. As this continues members of the public will notice an elevated policing presence in the city centre to ensure that they are safe and feel safe as they return to work and this will continue as long as necessary. I am grateful for the work of officers and staff in West Midlands Police and the support we have received from other forces in the country to support this operation.
"I would also add my thanks for the support we have received from the Prime Minister, Home Secretary, Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands, the West Midlands Mayor and the leader of Birmingham City Council and many other local politicians. I am also very grateful to the media for their assistance in sharing our appeal.
"Most importantly I want to thank the public. From those who tried to help those who were injured on the night, for the people who have sent in footage and over one million people who have viewed the CCTV footage we released. Your support and assistance remains vital and we need you to keep supplying us images and information. The investigation is still at an early stage."
He added: "Sadly I regret that others have sought to express opinions on the police response and the approach of the investigation to releasing media images or the motivation for this. There is always a time and place to review the actions of an accountable police service. That should take place in the context of the facts, which commentators clearly do not know. Engaging in an ill-informed critique of this investigation, particularly at such an early stage, is both unhelpful and simply makes the job of the police harder.
"West Midlands Police will continue its investigation and will not be engaging further on discussions on these matters."
Detectives are still appealing for anyone with information or camera footage to contact them via Live Chat at west-midlands.police.uk between 8am and midnight or call 101 anytime. Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Photos or video can be uploaded to a dedicated web page for the operation mipp.police.uk/operation/20HQ19G54-PO1