Since 2013, West Midlands Police has seen an 81% increase, 29% in the last year, of cases involving weapons in Birmingham schools.
In 2013, throughout Birmingham there were only 18 incidents, this rose to 35 in 2014 and again to 45 in 2015. Whilst the number of incidents has increased, the age group 11 to 17 remain the most common offenders for these crimes.
Knifes (Including pen and flick) also remained the most prominent weapon used. In 2013, there were 3 cases involving knives, in 2015, this had seen an increase by 733% to 25 cases, the biggest increase seen by any weapon. BB Guns, which were not used at all in 2013, were reported to have been used 3 times in both 2014 and 2015.
With an increase in the amount of weapons used in Birmingham’s schools, the number resulting in a charge has increased by 67% as has suspects being issued with a youth caution which has increased by 500%.
These figures come as West Midlands Police launch a brand new anti-knife campaign, named ‘Either way he’s not coming home’, the campaign is aimed at parents of pupils at Birmingham schools.
West Midlands Police Detective Chief Inspector Ian Parnell, one of the officers behind the campaign said that;
“A common excuse is that it’s ‘for their protection’ but it’s shocking how many times young men are seriously hurt by the very knife they are carrying. Parents have a very important role in helping educate teenagers about the dangers of carrying weapons…I hope the campaign helps them spot the warning signs that their child could be getting into very serious trouble.”
Despite the rising number of reported crimes involving ‘knifes’, PC Rob Pedley, the officer behind the precious lives campaign, which is designed to steer young people away from knife crime and deglamorize gang culture, said:
“Looking at latest figures, around 50 people a month are being found in possession of a knife in the West Midlands – this is well down on past years but is still far too many.”
The multi-partnership also involves those who have been impacted by knife crime in Birmingham. Alison Cope whose son Joshua Ribera was murdered in a Selly Oak stabbing in 2013, has been continuing to push for an improvement in violence in schools, working alongside West Midlands Police in their Precious Lives campaign.
Speaking about the future for students who get caught up in crime at school she said;
“I know from the messages I’ve received that we are striking a chord with these children and they are taking on board what we say. There is hope for every teenager in the region, even those who’ve got stuck on a wrong path…they need positive role models and support, not just from parents but from every adult they interact with.”
The freedom of information request also revealed that in 2015, 81% of all crimes were perpetrated by a male.