Police Commissioner: knife attacks a ‘national emergency’

Police chief brands knife attacks ‘national emergency’

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson (left) and West Midlands Police chief constable David Thompson. Image: Richard Vernalls/PA

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

A slew of stabbings across two major cities has been described as a "national emergency" by West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson.

Speaking after three teenagers died in knife attacks in two weeks in Birmingham, Mr Jamieson called on the Home Secretary to give his area a special policing grant to tackle the problem.

Hazrat Umar, 17, was killed in Bordesley Green on Monday; Abdullah Muhammad, 16, died in Small Heath last week; and seven days earlier Sidali Mohamed, 16, was stabbed outside a college in Highgate.



The attacks were among 269 knife crimes recorded so far this year in the West Midlands.

There have been 17 homicides in London in 2019, six of which happened in nine days. On Tuesday alone, five people were stabbed, four of whom were attacked in less than eight hours and one who died.

Patrols are being boosted across the capital, including by the Metropolitan Police's Violent Crime Taskforce and teams from the gang violence, roads, dogs and neighbourhood units.


'An immediate path into crime'

Speaking to the media in the Dale End area of Birmingham on Wednesday, Mr Jamieson said: "I would ask the Home Secretary now, to give a special grant here in the West Midlands to help the Chief Constable and his staff actually tackle what is a serious outbreak of violence we've seen here in Birmingham and other parts of the West Midlands.

"Many of the children who are getting involved in these crimes have been excluded from their school.

"This is a national emergency, and we must do something about that exclusion of children because those children are on almost an immediate path into crime and into violence."



He continued: "Certainly we've got a very high level of knife crime here, there's no escaping that - and they've got a real problem in parts of London."

As part of "emergency" measures, officers in Birmingham are being given sweeping powers to stop and search suspects.

For the first time ever, the Section 60 Order will cover the whole of Birmingham and will run until 3am on Thursday, police said.