GANG FILM DROPPED AFTER CINEMA FIGHT

GANG FILM DROPPED AFTER CINEMA FIGHT

A senior police chief has said disorder at a cinema in which seven officers were injured "may be the worst thing" the responding police had seen

West Midlands Police said they would be making further arrests on Sunday or Monday, after five teenagers, including a 13-year-old girl, were held after the disorder at Star City in Birmingham on Saturday evening.

Chief Superintendent Steve Graham said the force used by officers was "proportionate", adding that the disorder took 90 minutes to break up because police were not "heavy-handed".

Youths were reported to have had machetes and knives, with three of the weapons seized by the force.

A dispersal order was issued to the group of about 100 people, and Vue Cinema has said it has pulled the gang film Blue Story from all of its 91 outlets in the UK and Ireland.

Mr Graham said it was "concerning" that some of those involved were so young.

Addressing the safety of people in Birmingham, Mr Graham said: "Incidents of the scale of disorder we saw last night are rare, not just at Star City but also across the city and the broader West Midlands.

"So if anyone is feeling unsafe I can understand in the immediate wake of that why they might do.

"However Star City is still a safe place to go, Birmingham is still a safe place to go and it's really important that our communities and families feel safe to come out and enjoy themselves."

A 13-year-old girl, a girl and a boy, both aged 14, and a 19-year-old man were held on suspicion of assaulting police.

A 14-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of obstructing police.

Asked if he was concerned about the ages of those involved, Mr Graham said: "It is concerning, there's no point pretending otherwise.

"That's why we've got plans in place, starting from first thing on Monday morning, where we'll be sending neighbourhood policing officers into schools around Birmingham to try and find out why.

"We know that Birmingham isn't unusual in this. Let's not pretend that knife crime or violence in the under 25s is rare or is just isolated around Birmingham.

"There are no short-term fixes to this, so we're prepared and we're in this for the long run and we're going to work with schools and other partners to prevent youth violence becoming an increasing problem."

Asked where the incident ranked compared with other reports of disorder, Mr Graham said: "It's always hard to gauge these sorts of things - but what I will say is incidents like last night are rare.

"As for some officers who were there last night, it may be the worst thing they have ever seen.

Published: by Radio NewsHub
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