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Police presence increased in Walsall as murder investigation continues into 'senseless' killing of man in town centre

There was increased police presence in Walsall for a second day on Sunday as detectives continued to "work around the clock" to arrest those behind the vicious killing of a man in the town centre.

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Floral tributes left where the incident happened.

The victim, in his 20s, was attacked by a group on High Street near Asda in the early hours of Saturday morning and died a short time later.

Police used extra powers overnight giving them the ability to stop and search people in parts of the borough without the need for the usual grounds.

Officers were keen to reassure members of the public that they use these Section 60 powers "carefully" and only when they feel there is a risk of violence or to help them "keep people safe."

The Section 60 powers were put in place again from 10am on Sunday and were due to continue until 7am on Monday, when they were set to be reviewed again.

The investigation "is making progress" and detectives are "following up a number of positive lines of enquiry."

Anyone with CCTV, mobile phone footage or dashcam footage has been asked not to share it on social media, but to get in touch with the police instead.

Officers are also continuing to support the victim’s family as they grieve. The victim's name has not been confirmed by the authorities but has been named locally as Bailey Atkinson.

Ch Supt Phil Dolby, of Walsall Police, said: “This was senseless violence that has cost a man his life, and our top priority is catching those responsible.

“But we’re also very aware that people are worried by what’s happened and also feeling angry.

“I’d urge people to work with us as we investigate, and get in touch with any information.

“We’re committed to working with partners across the borough to ensure Walsall is a safe place, and I’ve been speaking to people in the community to reassure then of the steps we are taking to ensure that.”

"Get in touch via Live Chat at or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."

Police on the scene on Saturday 28th January.

Local shoppers and business people are shocked

A businesswoman in a nearby shop, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: "It's shocking. It was a customer who came in and told me.

"I can't imagine what that man's family is going through.

"Walsall seems to be getting worse and worse. I'm considering whether I need to move location.

"I wish there were more police about. I don't understand why there is a section 60 in place just for today. I think they need the powers to do that a lot more.

"I think society is too worried about offending people and people are getting killed because of it.

"I've heard of stabbings at the bus station. There's a member of staff who has to walk to the bus station after work in the dark. It's terrifying."

A man, who was out shopping in the town centre today and did not want to be named, said: "This type of crime, it's everywhere now.

"You don't feel safe to walk the streets.

"Just before Christmas there was a man on a push bike in the same area, he got out a knife and was threatening to kill someone."

Another shopper, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: "It's so sad what has happened.

"I heard it was a young lad and he was on a night out. His poor family."

People have also expressed their shock on social media.

One said: "Why are these people going out carrying weapons they obviously have intent on using.

"Government need to put more money onto policing and get more bobbies back on the beat, cut the paperwork down get more admin and let police be more present in our communities

"Thoughts to the family, another life taken unnecessarily."

Another said: "With the amount of knife crime, section 60 should be continually in place.

"No good searching people after a stabbing has taken place. We need to look at prevention and tougher prison sentences."

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