Drug gangs fighting over territory and causing 'dreadful' violence - police chief

Drug gangs are fighting for territory across the West Midlands leading to "truly dreadful" violence, a police chief has said.

David Jamieson, the region's police and crime commissioner, also revealed the Covid-19 pandemic has generally "disrupted the drug trade".

He made the comments as he addressed a panel of local Government leaders about ongoing crime in the region.

Mr Jamieson said there has been a "substantial increase in violence" across the West Midlands caused "largely in two different scenarios" - drug gangs and the night time economy.

He revealed street violence is also now higher than pre-covid levels which causing concern among officers.

David Jamieson

Speaking on Friday, he said: "There has now been a various substantial increase in violence across the region, largely in two different scenarios.

"One is night economy so pubs, restaurants and clubs. We have seen a considerable rise in the type of street violence probably now at higher levels than we saw pre-covid or higher than this time last year. That is quite a worry and it is calling a lot of police time.

"The other area of criminality which is more widespread out in communities is between the drug gangs. The Covid-19 has disrupted the drug trade. What the gangs are doing now is they are fighting for territory. Some of the attacks we have seen have been truly dreadful.

"We are probably fortunate we haven't had a series of homicides this weekend that has risen from those attacks."

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