More than 20 arrests and weapons seized in crackdown on Wolverhampton youth violence

More than 20 arrests have been made, weapons seized and stolen items recovered, as part of an ongoing crackdown on youth violence in Wolverhampton.

Officers from West Midlands Police have been taking action following reports of young groups gathering in and around the city centre to commit crimes, disorder, anti-social behaviour and intimidate people.

Between February and April police made a series of arrests of mainly children - aged between 12 and 17 - for a wide range of offences from robbery, possession of weapons and drugs to attempted murder.

Officers have recovered mobile phones, bikes and a bag belonging to a victim which were taken in robberies, while also taking several knives and self-made weapons off the streets.

Six teenagers have been charged with robbery and a number of other young suspects are on bail to stay out of the city while enquiries into offences continue.

A 12-year-old boy has also been given a Criminal Behaviour Order after being convicted of two robberies, meaning he cannot enter the city centre unless accompanied by an adult and faces arrest if he does so.

Officers say they have now seen a drop in reports of city centre violence.

The action has included plain and uniformed patrols, weapons sweeps and joint work with a range of partners including Wolverhampton Council, Transport for West Midlands, Safer Travel and the West Midlands Violence and Reduction Unit, as well as businesses.

It comes as visitors to the city will also see more visible patrols as part of Project Servator, which has expanded into Wolverhampton to disrupt hostile reconnaissance this week.

Inspector Sophie Clement, of Wolverhampton Police, said: "We want everyone to feel safe and comfortable coming into the city centre.

"We unfortunately saw an increase in violence and robberies which was unacceptable and prompted us to take action to catch those suspected of being involved.

"Thankfully we've seen a sharp fall in such offences within the city centre since carrying out these targeted operations, which we'll be continuing for the foreseeable future.

"We're conscious we don't want this to be a case of moving trouble elsewhere, so we'll be following a similar approach across other parts of Wolverhampton. It's important we're made aware of any issues so we can respond quickly.

"We want to deter young people from ruining their lives by getting involved in crime at a young age. It can lead to criminal convictions and even losing freedoms by being put into custody."

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