Deadly weekend of 'senseless violence' as man is killed and another stabbed in separate Black Country attacks
A senior Walsall Police officer has said he is aware that people are "worried" and "angry" after a weekend of "senseless violence" saw one man killed in Walsall town centre and another stabbed in Dudley in separate incidents.
A murder investigation was launched on Saturday morning after Bailey Atkinson, was killed in Walsall in the early hours, following a "vicious" attack by a gang with weapons.
Bailey, in his 20s, was attacked by a group on High Street near Asda in the morning and died a short time later, prompting officers to launch a murder investigation.
Police were given extra Section 60 powers, which were officially in place until 7am this morning (January 30), giving them the ability to stop and search people in parts of the borough without the need for the usual grounds.
Police presence was also increased in the Walsall area to reassure the public, with detectives saying the "investigation is making progress and we’re following up a number of positive lines of enquiry."
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 family of the 20-year-old paid this tribute to their son: “We respectfully ask for privacy at the moment while we grieve the loss of our beloved boy Bailey. Our kind hearted and much loved son, brother and grandson
"Bailey was so loved, by so many and will be missed so much.
“We request if anyone has any information, they please come forward to help the police with their enquiries to help catch the individuals who done this and taken away our boy.”
Meanwhile, on Sunday morning, another man in his twenties was stabbed on Dudley High Street.
Officers were called to the scene by paramedics shortly after 4am.
The victim, believed to be in his 20s, was taken to hospital a critical condition.
Police confirmed to Express & Star that they do not believe the two incidents were linked in any way.
In a statement on the Walsall murder investigation on Sunday, 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.”
It comes just seven days after a weekend of gunfire drama in Wolverhampton in which police responded to separate firearms incidents. You can read more about that here: https://www.expressandstar.com/news/local-hubs/wolverhampton/2023/01/23/window-broken-after-shots-fired-at-wolverhampton-property/