Arrests made in Birmingham gang crackdown

Week-long offensive on violent crime hailed a success.

Gang members were arrested, warrants executed and weapons seized as part of a week-long offensive on violent crime in Birmingham.

The initiative, codenamed Project Yawbridge, saw knives, machetes and baseball bats uncovered by cops during more than 60 weapons sweeps of parkland and open spaces.

Four men linked to gang crime were arrested on one night for drugs and firearms offences as part of a roads policing blitz. Police ‘lockdowns’ were also carried out in areas affected by violent crime as large numbers of officers flooded areas and utilised stop and search powers.

Elsewhere, dispersal powers were used in Soho Road preventing groups from hanging out together and licence condition checks made by officers at pubs suspected of being linked to criminality.

Birmingham Police Chief Inspector Stu Bill said Project Yawbridge helped to disrupt organised crime − and warned crooks that other operations are in the pipeline. He said: “It’s been a huge success: we’ve recovered weapons, drugs and made some significant arrests. We’re working with partners to exploit every possible opportunity to get under the skin of people linked to gangs − they can’t rest easy and need to understand that our officers could come knocking at any time.

“Our priority is to protect members of the community from people who carry weapons or commit crime. We want to hear from anyone who has suspicions that people, vehicles or properties could be linked to crime − we need to know so we can take action. They can call us on 101 or phone Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.”

Shotgun cartridges and drugs were recovered during a search of a house in Ward End, while suspected amphetamine (pictured) was seized at an address in Aston where a knuckleduster bayonet was also found in the garden. The four men arrested for drugs and firearms offences after CS spray was found in a car’s centre console have been released under investigation while detectives conduct further enquiries.