Revealed: One shooting a week in Black Country at start of year

A shooting took place in the Black Country almost once a week during the first few months of this year, new figures show.

Armed police in Wolverhampton. Photo: Holly Welch.
Armed police in Wolverhampton. Photo: Holly Welch.

Data from West Midlands Police showed there had been a total of 50 shootings across the area over 2019, 2020 and this year.

Between January 1 and April 4 this year – a period of around 13 weeks – there were a total of 12 shootings across the area.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request made by the Express & Star showed the figure so far this year compares to annual figures of 19 for both 2019 and last year.

In Wolverhampton, there were five shootings over the period this year, with seven recorded in 2020 and eight in 2019. It means the city has experienced the most shootings in the Black Country over the past three years with 20 in total.

Recent incidents:

In Sandwell, there were six shootings – the highest in the Black Country this year – with a further three last year and six in 2019, with 15 overall.

Meanwhile, in Walsall, one shooting was recorded this year with a further three last year and five in 2019, making it nine overall.

Dudley only featured once the list, which was in 2020 when there were six shootings across the metropolitan borough.

Of the 12 shootings in 2021, two of those occurred in Bearwood, in the Abbey ward of Smethwick, where two men were gunned down on Poplar Road, on April 1.

Two other shootings occurred in the Tipton Green ward, with one in the Friar Park ward and another in West Bromwich Central this year, the FOI request showed.

Walsall recorded only one shooting in 2021, which happened in the Blakenall ward. In Wolverhampton, five shootings were recorded – with one incident in Bushbury North, Bushbury South and Low Hill, Ettingshall, Graiseley and Park wards.

More recent headlines:

The ward with the highest number of shootings in the Black Country in one year was Bilston East, in Wolverhampton, last year, where there was four shootings.

Across the wider West Midlands, including Birmingham and Coventry, there were 115 shootings between January 1 and April 4 across 2019, last year and this year.

The number of shootings rose from 2019 going into 2020, from 39 to 46, but dropped in 2021, with the figure standing at 30.

Overall, the Black Country made up 44 per cent of shootings across the West Midlands in the data provided through the FOI.

West Midlands Police calculated the data for the FOI request by searching for incidents with the phrase "firearms discharge".

There has been increasing concern that criminal groups are now arming themselves with guns as well as knives.

In one recent incident, a gun was fired in a residential street in Whitmore Reans, Wolverhampton, at 7.45pm. Two hooded people were seen running down Lloyd Street before one pointed and shot a gun before they both ran away.

Video emerged of the shooting, which damaged a car in the street. The drama played out as families watched from their homes. One resident said: "We are all worried on the street now as knives are one thing but guns are next level and they look like kids.”

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