West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson is launching a ‘Commission on Gangs and Violence’ at Birmingham City Council House at noon on Wednesday 16th March.
The Commission on ‘Gangs and Violence’ will bring together representatives from across the community and across the public and voluntary sectors, highlighting that to tackle the issues of gangs and violence everyone needs to come together as part of a unified action. It will hold meetings and events and will report back in six months at a specially convened summit and will continue to meet for at least another six months after the initial report has been published. The Commission will be chaired by Bishop Derek Webley.
The Commission will focus on ‘Working together for safer and stronger communities’, by identifying root causes and solutions to the issues surrounding violence and gang culture in Birmingham.
The Commission will focus on and review: the current responses to gangs and violence, assess whether these are fit for purpose, whether partnerships are working, and make recommendations on the approach to gangs and violence in future.
The PCC’s decision to form a Commission follows issues raised by local communities and the will of the PCC that we do not go backwards on the issues of gangs and violence.
Statement from the Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson ahead of the launch of the Commission on Gangs and Violence:
“We are determined that we do not go back to where we a decade ago. Violence is unacceptable and we all need to work together to make sure that we don’t go backwards on this crucial issue.
“Excellent work has been done by the police, but in particular by the community. That work has driven gun crime down and made our streets safer. This Commission will review that work and make recommendations on what needs to be done in future to ensure that this spike in gun crime does not become a trend again.
“We have listened to the community and listened to their concerns on gangs and violence, that is why we are launching this root and branch review. Gangs and violence are complex issues, the response to them should be too.
“A tough approach from the police is just one aspect of how we tackle gangs and violence. We need a consistent approach by the whole public sector, across different agencies to empower communities to help them tackle these issues with all of our support.
“Whilst gun crime has fallen over the last decade, if it takes place on your street it is of course the biggest concern in your life. We recognise that concern and for that reason we are coming together to launch this Commission into the root causes of gangs and violent crime in the city.
“A robust police response is necessary, but we cannot arrest our way out of this problem. Arrests and prosecutions will only be temporary solutions dealing with the symptoms, not the core issues. We all need to work together to bring about a solution which includes skills, jobs and prosperity for the affected areas.
“The Commission on Gangs and Violence will be community-led, with the support of statutory agencies, not the other way round.”
Chair of the Commission on Gangs and Violence, Bishop Derek Webley said:
“Over the past decade excellent work has been done to reduce gun crime. That work has been led by the community and yielded real results.
“The recent spike in gun crime means that we need to renew that work and make sure that we are all still focussed on the right things and have the right priorities.
“Violent crime and gangs are often the result of other deep rooted issues, which can’t be tackled by the police or one agency alone. They require us all to work together to tackle them, but most of all that response needs to be led by the affected communities.
“I am proud to chair this Commission which is bringing together the statutory agencies to tackle the root problems, but ultimately the solution to these issues will be found in the community by the community, not by anyone else.”
Members of the ‘Commission on Gangs and Violence’ will be:
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Chair Bishop Derek Webley
Academic/Researcher Revd Dr Carver Anderson
Community Member Joan Campbell
Community Member Lincoln Moses
Community Organisation Robin Thompson
Community Organisation Bobby Dennis
Community Member Lloyd Robinson
Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Yvonne Mosquito
West Midlands Police ACC Carl Foulkes
Leader of Birmingham City Council Cllr John Clancy
Public Health Birmingham Representative
Violence Prevention Alliance Chief Inspector David Twyford
Youth Commissioner (BWC) Yusef Ahmed
Director of Equalities, Community and Mashuq Ally