Ten people linked to Birmingham gangs have together been jailed for more than 70 years in the last two months alone − and West Midlands Police has promised no let-up in its offensive against those who threaten the region’s communities.
This week saw Northfield man Jamie Wood put behind bars after detectives from the force’s Organised Crime & Gang Unit recovered a video he’d recorded on a mobile phone of a man firing a shotgun at a gang rival’s home.
Wood − who’s featured in YouTube grime videos by south Birmingham gang Frankley Killers threatening violence against opposing crews − didn’t pull the trigger but was still jailed for almost four years after officers showed he orchestrated the attack.
It follows last week’s 15-year jail term handed to Handsworth man Yusupha Sarr who’d fired a sawn-off shotgun in a Smethwick street in a suspected gang feud.
Armed police had been lying in wait nearby − acting on community intelligence that gang members would be attending an 18th birthday party − and moved in to arrest Sarr from a taxi less than two hours after the shooting in August last year.
And in February, Jamael Scarlett and Courtney Farrell were jailed for 16 and nine years, respectively, for possessing firearms and ammunition.
Neither were found holding guns or with weapons stored at their homes − but West Midlands Police uncovered a stream of message exchanges linking them to firearms and organised crime and that was sufficient to secure long jail sentences.
Fellow gang members Jamaal Ahmed and Reece Brevitt were also jailed, while a 16-year-old boy was sent to a young offenders institute for three years.
Chief Inspector Nick Dale urged communities to back West Midlands Police efforts to tackle violent crime.
He said: “Many of these successes have been in part been thanks to information provided by members of the public…people who have suspicions about individuals, drug dealing or possession of weapons.
“They have called us in confidence, we’ve acted on what they’ve told us and together we’re helping make communities safer."
More than 20 people have also been arrested by the Birmingham Organised Crime & Gang Unit so far this year for offences including drug supply, firearm possession and conspiracy to steal motor vehicles.
And 42 viable firearms have also been seized by West Midlands Police since the turn of the year − recoveries that have potentially saved lives and prevented serious injury.
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