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Gang Violence in South West Birmingham

Many people will have seen the story in the Birmingham Mail on gang violence in South West Birmingham. Here is my response:

“The emergence of these street gangs in South Birmingham is certainly cause for serious concern. I have been in close contact with the Police about it for some time now. I can reassure people that a dedicated Police operation is in place with targeted actions ongoing to disrupt the activities of those involved. A number of arrests have already been made. Just as important is the cooperation taking place between schools and the Police to divert young people at risk of becoming involved in gangs away from criminal activities that offer them no future.

It in no way undermines the seriousness of this issue, however, to emphasise that only a small minority of young people get involved in these gangs and that it would be entirely wrong to allow young people in and around Northfield to be stigmatised because of the actions of the few.

Let us remember too that these gangs are not what makes the Northfield area tick. There is so much that is positive about people who live around here – young and not so young. Nurturing, celebrating and taking pride in all that is good about our community is as important to safeguarding the future as is cracking down on criminal gangs.”