Birmingham is in the grip of worst gun crime wave in five years

One in nine incidents of gun crime in England and Wales took place in the West Midlands in 2013/14 Credit: BPM Media

Birmingham is in the grip of the worst gun crime wave in five years and shootings are happening with “concerning regularity”, admits the region's top policeman.

Dave Thompson, who takes over as Chief Constable next week, told the West Midlands Police and Crime Board yesterday that he had not seen as many shootings in the five years that he has been with the force.

He said that gun crime had “come back” and that he was growing increasingly concerned about the availability of weapons and ammunition on the streets.

However the Deputy Chief Constable also vowed to take on the gun gangsters, saying he was confident that those responsible for the spate of recent shootings would be brought to justice with support from local communities.

Last year the Birmingham Mail revealed that the West Midlands had overtaken London as the gun crime capital of England and Wales according to new crime figures released by the Office for National Statistics.

One in nine incidents of gun crime in England and Wales took place in the West Midlands in 2013/14, which meant it had a higher gun crime rate for its population size than the Metropolitan Police Service area.

The Birmingham Mail has been tracking the rise in gun crime.

  • In November we reported how there had been two killings and six shootings in just a 31-day period.

  • In December a number of people were treated for gunshot wounds, including a woman shot in the leg in the city centre and a teenager shot in the back in Lozells Road.

  • During the Christmas period there was three further shootings, one of which left three people injured in Handsworth.

A policeman with a recovered Browning pistol custom fitted with a machine gun silencer during a press briefing at Lewisham police station Credit: Edmond Terakopian / PA Archive/PA Images

Mr Thompson acknowledged that the Christmas period had seen “quite a rise” in violent crime and there had been rises in various crime areas like burglary in the last two months.

Despite the rise, he remained confident that his officers would be able to bring those responsible to justice, and said lots of work was going on in the background to combat gun crime.

Imitation guns sit alongside real firearms during a press briefing Credit: Johnny Green / PA Archive/PA Images