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PCC Simon Foster alongside Sgt James Hurdidge during knife crime awareness week in Erdington

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster joined officers in Erdington this week as part of a national campaign to clamp down on knife crime.

The event saw officers and partners out on the streets to offer advice and support to members of the community who were pleased to see proactive policing in action.

It comes following the PCC’s continued pledge to strengthen community policing. Thanks to funding secured by the PCC, West Midlands Police officer numbers have now surpassed 8,000. The PCC also intends to recruit an additional 650 officers in the West Midlands.

In Erdington this week, West Midlands Police set up a stall outside St Barnabas Church on the High Street where members of the public could come and speak to officers and have access to partners and support services.

Weapon sweeps were also undertaken as officers searched for discarded knives and blades, while police were on hand to raise awareness of the dangers of knife crime.

Business checks were also conducted and a large quantity of harmful illegal vapes were seized, as well as advice being given to retailers about business regulations. During the all-out action event officers also arrested a 43-year-old man on suspicion of shoplifting.

PCC Simon Foster, who was joined on operation alongside newly-appointed Deputy PCC Wasim Ali, said: “I am here on Erdington High Street for what is national Knife Crime Intensification week.

“This week officers have been out and about across the West Midlands carrying out robust enforcement activity to tackle knife crime – but this week is not only about enforcement, it is also about prevention, education and raising awareness of the devastating impact of knife crime.

“Knife Crime Intensification Awareness Week is all part of the constant and unremitting action that is taking place to prevent, tackle and reduce knife crime, protect people and save lives.”

Sergeant James Hurdidge, from the Erdington policing team, added: “The all-out events are a great way for us to engage with the community and tackle the issues that matter most to local people. The feedback we have received from residents has been positive and we are committed to continuing these events in the future.

“It was good to see that the vast majority of premises were compliant and continue to trade legally following previous enforcement visits.

“I would like to thank all of our partners who helped to make the event a success. We are working together to make Erdington a safer and more pleasant place to live, work and visit.”

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