Birmingham music venues see reduction in crime for third consecutive year

Two of Birmingham city centre’s biggest music venues saw a reduction in crime in 2015, for the third year running.

Data available on Police.uk revealed that both the O2 Academy and Digbeth’s O2 Institute saw fewer crimes committed in and around the premises in 2015, than in the previous two years.

46 crimes were committed at the Academy venue in 2015, a significant reduction on the 136 and 74 that took place in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

Three men were jailed in August for their part in a brawl that took place outside the 3,250 capacity venue in July of 2015. In addition, a man suffered serious injuries when stabbed inside the venue in October.

Fewer crimes have been committed at the O2 Institute venue over the last three years, though it too has seen a year-on-year reduction in the numbers, falling from 44 in 2013 to 39 in 2015.

Taken over by the Live Nation group and rebranded October 2015, the former HMV Institute has seen a reduction in crime in the three months following the takeover compared to those same months in previous years.

The full data, including a month by month breakdown of crimes at both venues can be seen below:

A separate Freedom of Information request made to West Midlands Police has revealed that whilst there has been a decrease in crimes committed at both venues, the number of 999 calls made from within the venues has remained at a consistent level over the same time period.

Significantly more calls have been made from the Institute, despite its lower crime rate than the O2 Academy. Over the last three years, 60 calls have been made from the Institute, whereas 19 have come from the Academy, which has almost double the capacity.

Sue Brown, a spokesperson for West Midlands Police’s Freedom of Information unit refused to draw any conclusions between the crime data and the FOI data, saying:

“Any comparisons made between incident call outs and crimes from different systems should not be made as they will give spurious results.”

As to why the crime numbers may have dropped year on year at both venues, West Midlands Police gave no comment.

 

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