Crime figures show July was Birmingham’s’ most violent month so far

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster

Figures show there were more than 2,700 incidents of assault led to police charges in July, more than any other month this year and the previous two months of July in 2021 and 2020.

The figures come as multiple Freedom of Information requests submitted to West Midlands Police by the Local Democracy Reporting Service paint a violent picture in the hottest month of 2022. Temperatures hit over 40C(104F) in some parts of the country, with Birmingham sweltering in 38C(100F) heat.

Figures show that July 2022 saw 1,767 assaults without injury in Birmingham and 935 assaults with injury. The total of 2,702 is more than any other month this year so far, with June recording 2,662 in second place.

After both assault classifications, Birmingham’s third most common crime in July was theft from a motor vehicle, which was also higher than in any other month this year. 773 police charges were related to this crime that month.

Birmingham has also seen year-on-year increases in the number of 999 calls, with a 2022 record of 36,639 in July alone. This is up by over 7,000 from July 2020.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster said: “This rise once again highlights the huge pressure West Midlands Police is facing with the increase in 999 calls.

“These figures show that the Government must listen and act. We need a fair funding package for West Midlands Police.

“We are still fighting for our missing 1,000 officers, compared to 2010 levels. We need urgent action now from the Government to replace these officers so that West Midlands Police is able to meet demand.”

The rise in violent crime across Birmingham in July was in line with the soaring temperatures felt in one of the UK’s hottest months ever. Crime increases can also occur during the summer when young people are off and people spend more time outdoors, leaving houses vulnerable to thieves.

In response to the FoI figures, West Midlands Police released this statement: “We know how concerning serious youth violence and knife crime is for everyone and it is a force priority for us.

“Our region has one of the youngest populations in Europe and thankfully these crimes involve only a tiny proportion of our young people. But for even one child to become a victim of crime or any young person to be drawn into youth violence is one too many.

“The way we record knife crimes has changed over recent years so data from different years are not always directly comparable. But that doesn’t diminish the untold grief and anguish such awful incidents cause and we understand that they have long-reaching impacts for all those involved.

“We also understand that the root causes are varied and complex, so our approach to combating these crimes, and keep young people safe, is always evolving.

“We’re working with schools, colleges, councils and others – including the Violence Reduction Partnership – on our education programme highlighting the dangers of knife crime and how to report concerns.

“We always follow up information about people who carry weapons. We also continue to ask parents to talk to their youngsters about the realities of carrying a knife and what to do if they’re confronted.

“In addition to all of this, we also carry out pop-up knife operations with metal detectors at schools, bus stations and other places where our young people meet up.”