Why are police enforcing Section 60 stop and search powers in Birmingham city centre tonight?
West Midlands Police are enforcing Section 60 powers in and around Birmingham city centre tonight following a stabbing spree in the city this last week.
The public order act gives officers the power to stop and search people they suspect may be involved in violence involving weapons, without the need to have reasonable grounds.
A statement from police earlier this evening announced: “The S60 is in place until 5am tomorrow (30 December) following violence involving weapons over recent days.
“There was the tragic murder at a nightclub in Digbeth on Boxing Day, and separately two men are in a stable condition in hospital after being stabbed in Handsworth last night. Our priority is to keep you safe.”
Cody Fisher stabbing
The action comes following the Boxing Day stabbing of 23-year-old local footballer Cody Fisher at Crane nightclub in Digbeth, which launched a police enquiry into his murder.
As of today, three people had been arrested in relation to the incident, with a total of seven in custody, as police continue to appeal for witnesses.
The force is also calling on Birmingham City Council to review the license of the recently opened but currently closed venue in Adderley Street, where the murder took place.
Krystian Debski stabbing
Police have also charged a man suspected of fatally stabbing another man in Handsworth.
Antonio Tibere was arrested on suspicion of the murder of 35-year-old Krystian Debski in Soho Road on 22 December.
The suspect was also charged with attempted murder after a woman in her 20s and a man in his 40s additionally sustained stab wounds during the incident.
The woman remains in a serious condition in hospital, while the man has since been discharged, according to a police statement following the attack.
“Our thoughts are with all those affected and we’ll be offering as much support as we can during this distressing time.”
Knife crime surge
According to official ONS statistics gathered between 2020 and 2021, knife crime in the region has been surging. In 2022, West Midlands police reported a 46% increase in such offences, compared to the year before.
It was also been revealed the number of children involved in knife crimes has almost tripled over the past five years.
Writing in The Independent today, Birmingham Yardey MP Jess Phillips expressed her hope that knife crime in Birmingham would have reduced in recent years, but is dismayed at the lack of resources to tackle the problem.
“Real efforts were made in places like Birmingham to tackle youth violence, and I thought my sons would grow up in a safer city than the one I’d known,” she said.
“It’s all gone. The death of a two young people – one in a Birmingham nightclub and the other in Merseyside this past festive week – is the reminder of a youth I’d preferred not to have lived.
“It all feels so painfully familiar. Knife crime and youth violence is nothing new. It has been a growing concern for the past decade. What it has not been met with is the same determination to change it.”
She added: “Violent crime is rising, with this year’s figures being 18 per cent higher than they were in 2021. Where the hell is the home secretary on this?”
Responding to the Boxing Day murder of Cody Fisher in Birmingham, Nadhim Zahawi, MP for Stratford-on-Avon posted online: “Those committing such mindless violence/crimes must be brought to justice.”
Tweeting on Christmas Eve, Home Secretary Suella Braverman wrote, “I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to our police forces for their hard work this year, and in particular those that are working away from their families and loved ones during the festive period.”