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Brummies 'robbed of right to feel safe' amid shooting terror and 'summer of crime'

Lives are being 'turned upside down by criminals' amid a rise in illegal racing, car cruising, burglary and anti-social behaviour, warns MP Preet Gill

Birmingham Live, 12th September 2023

Lives are being 'turned upside down', residents are being 'robbed of their right to feel safe' and forced to avoid areas amid a summer crimewave. Rising serious crime - compounded by 24hrs of gun terror on their doorsteps - has now sparked urgent calls to boost police numbers on the streets.

Only on Sunday, gunshots rang out in Quinton Road West as a trio of balaclava-clad thugs shot at a moving car. And it came hours after a man was shot in the chest and face in Craneberry Road, Tile Cross, though it's not thought the two are linked.

Now, it has emerged MP Preet Gill penned a concerned letter to West Midlands Police urging the force to boost police presence in the wake of the Quinton shooting - and alongside an increase in crime. Illegal racing, street cruising, burglary and vehicle crime are among the issues "blighting the daily lives" of residents in the Edgbaston constituency, she said.

Writing after the incident on Sunday night (Sept 10), she said: "This led to police urging people to avoid the area and it demonstrates another night for my constituents living with the consequences of increasing serious crime on their doorstep. This summer has felt noticeably different in terms of the amount of crime we are seeing in my constituency."

Since June 1 to date, she has dealt with 107 cases relating to crime in Edgbaston - compared to 50 for the same period for 2022. The Labour MP added: "The bulk of these crime cases concern speeding, illegal racing, car cruising, vehicle-theft and vehicle-stripping, burglary, and anti-social behaviour – all of which are blighting the daily lives of my constituents.

"They have a right to live in safe, secure, and peaceful neighbourhoods but right now they are being robbed of this right. Coincidentally, last night’s incident involved three men on scrambler-style e-scooters engaged in a drive-by shooting."

Concerns over the anti-social and illegal use of these e-scooters have long been voiced by MP Gill and local residents, but with "little done to address their concerns," she said.

"Considering the messages I am receiving today; last night’s incident has compounded this feeling as residents’ lives are once again turned upside down by criminals who feel empowered to treat our community with complete disregard.

"While recognising there are resource issues within the Force – indeed, I have raised this with the Government earlier this year in February – I must ask what additional resources are being deployed in light of last night’s incident in Quinton?"

"Residents need to be reassured that their safety and security is a priority, and they need to see a greater Police presence in the area with increased patrols by Officers from West Midlands Police."

She concluded the letter by offering her thanks to "all West Midlands Police and emergency service personnel" involved in the Quinton shooting. "Our emergency services go above and beyond daily, and we owe them all a great deal of gratitude and respect," she added.

BirminghamLive has contacted the force for a statement on the letter. A statement from the force on the shooting read: "We are investigating after reports of a drive-by shooting in Quinton yesterday, September 10. We were called just before 5.45pm after shots were fired on Quinton Road West. It is understood three men in balaclavas on scrambler-style e-scooters shot at a moving vehicle which officers believe was a white saloon car. No one was injured.

"Anyone who has any information about the incident is asked to contact us via Live Chat on our website or call 101 quoting 20/791074/23. If you want to pass on information, but don't want to give your details, speak anonymously to charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."



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