Cologne attacks “a million miles away” from Broad Street scene
Police in Birmingham have moved to reassure city centre visitors that attacks on women are rare and that its nightlife centre is a “safe, vibrant” place.
It comes after a Birmingham MP likened New Year assaults in Germany – where hundreds of women reported being molested by migrant gangs – to scenes typically witnessed in Broad Street.
During BBC’s Question Time last night Birmingham Yardley MP Jess Phillips said: “There is violence against women and girls…a very similar situation to what happened in Cologne could be described on Broad Street in Birmingham every week.”
More than 800 women have reported to police in Germany that they were sexually assaulted or robbed during the New Year celebrations.
But latest figures from West Midlands Police show that in the last 12 weeks, since the start of November, there has been a total of five serious sexual assaults reported in Broad Street.
Birmingham Police Inspector Gareth Morris said: “Around eight million people visit Broad Street every year – and while one incident of assault is one too many, these figures illustrate that the vast majority of people enjoy their time in Broad Street without incident.
“Like any city centre we have issues linked to people out drinking…but the types of attacks reported in Germany are a million miles away from anything my team encounters in Birmingham.
“Birmingham city centre is a safe, positive and vibrant place. We have high-visibility patrols to reassure night-time revellers and street triage teams, together with the ambulance service, charities and community volunteers to support anyone in need of help.
“Together we’ve achieved some great results, notably a reduction in violent crimes fuelled by alcohol.
“There is certainly nothing to suggest any crime patterns or trends related to immigration and I would invite anyone to come and enjoy a night out in Birmingham and experience what the city has to offer."