Walsall police given extra powers for fourth time in eight days to tackle violence

Police officers have again been given extra stop and search powers after a number of violent incidents.

The extra police powers have been issued after a number of violent incidents
The extra police powers have been issued after a number of violent incidents

For the fourth time in eight days officers were given Section 60 powers in the Caldmore area of Walsall, this time until until 1am on Friday.

The powers allow the police to stop and search people believed to be involved in violence without the need to have reasonable grounds.

It comes after a spate of incidents in the area, including one where a man was blasted with a shotgun in a mid-afternoon drive-by on Wednesbury Road on Thursday, January 20.

Schoolchildren ran home after the shooting which happened at around 3pm.

Speaking the day after the shooting one resident said: "I was at home when we heard a strange noise outside at about 3pm, but we thought it was a car backfiring. Shortly afterwards my son came home from school all shaken and out of breath and he told us that someone had been shot at.

"As a parent I'm worried about safety now. Nothing like this happens round here. It's rare.

"We've only recently allowed our son to walk to school on his own. But this morning I took him in the car because he was still feeling shaken."

In an incident not far from the area, a man attacked with a machete outside a primary school on Croft Street in Birchills.

A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: "The order covers these areas of the town and gives us the power to stop and search people we suspect may be involved in violence.

"This is without the need to have reasonable grounds. The Section 60 is in place after recent incidents of violence including weapons.

"Our priority is to protect you, the public.

"If you have any information on gun and knife crime, call us on 101 to report, in an emergency dial 999."

The powers covered the highlighted areas

This is the latest action to help tackle the issue in the area which has long been troubled by armed criminals.

A 16-year-old boy was stabbed in the stomach in Caldmore Road last February, and then in July two men were stabbed multiple times during a fight in Caldmore Green.

In 2020 masked men used a hammer to smash in the windows of a pizza shot before a gun was reportedly fired.

That incident, which happened in the May of that year, was at least the third incident to happen in Caldmore within six months - with others involving brawls and armed gangs.

And in one incident in January 2020, shops "were forced to close" amid escalating levels of violence in the area. A car and takeaway restaurant were damaged but no injuries were reported to police.

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