NEWS: 18 year old from Erdington is charged with Cody Fisher Boxing Day murder

Words by Ed King

An 18 year old from Erdington has been charged with murder and affray, following a police investigation into the fatal stabbing of Cody Lee Fisher (23) at a city centre nightclub on Boxing Day.

Reegan Anderson (18) from Erdington was held by West Midlands Police on 12 January and has now been officially implicated in the violent attack – which took place at Crane nightclub on Adderly Street in Digbeth.

Two other men had previously been charged with the murder of Mr Fisher, Kami Carpenter (21) and Remy Gordon (22) both appeared at the city’s Birmingham Crown Court last week.

Another man was also arrested but released on bail, making Reegan Anderson from Erdington the fourth man to be arrested and third to be charged over the horrific killing.

Cody Fisher, a semi professional footballer from Redditch, was fatally stabbed the dancefloor of Crane nightclub on Boxing Day last year.

Police were called to the popular Digbeth venue just before midnight on 26 December 2022, but despites efforts to save Mr Fisher’s life at the scene he was pronounced dead around 30 minutes later.

Security at the nightclub was questioned following the attack, with an 18-year-old man from Wolverhampton reporting the killing was a “disaster waiting to happen” and that the venue security “…didn’t even touch me whilst searching me, they just followed the outline of my body with their hands then tapped me to say go on through.”

He continued: “Obviously you want everyone to have a good time and enjoy themselves (but) when we got in I said to my friend: ‘That’s the worst search I’ve ever seen’. Anyone could have brought anything in.”

Cody Fisher was had previously played for Stourbridge, Bromsgrove Sporting, and Stratford Town football clubs.

In the days following the fatal attack, Arron Forde from Erdington based Community Interest Company Foundations 4 Future – who use sport to engage with young people and keep them away from violent crime and gang culture – took to social media to decry the brutal killing.

Mr Forde stated on his personal Twitter feed: ‘Having a son who is 2 & a half I just don’t see how I can bring him up in this lawless cesspit of a country. 0 consequence for the most horrific crimes.’

Following the arrest of Reegan Anderson, West Midlands Police issued the following statement:

“We’ve arrested a fourth man on suspicion of the murder of Cody Fisher, who was stabbed to death in a Birmingham nightclub on Boxing Day.

“The 18-year-old was held in Erdington just before 7am and will be questioned over the death of Cody.

“Cody, 23, was stabbed on the dance floor of the Crane nightclub on Adderley Street in Digbeth just before midnight on Boxing Day. He died at the scene.

“Two men have already been charged with his murder, while a third has been released on police bail while our inquiry continues.”

Det Insp Michelle Thurgood, leading the investigation, added: “We know lots of people at The Crane were using their mobile phones to take pictures and video on the night.

“If anyone has images from the evening that shows what happened before, during or after the incident, we really need to see it. It could provide vital to our investigation.”

West Midlands Police have set up a dedicated webpage for people to anonymously share any information, images, or videos that could help them with the investigation: https://mipp.police.uk/operation/20HQ22L31-PO1

NEWS: Man arrested for midnight stabbing on Fern Road leaving victim with “potentially life changing injuries’

Words and pics by Ed King

A 35 year old man has been arrested for wounding, following an alleged stabbing on Fern Road at around 12am on Saturday 7 January.

As revellers on nearby Erdington High Street enjoyed the first weekend of the New Year, a man in his 40’s was fighting for his life following the vicious assault – with police cordoning off Fern Road in a midnight investigation.

Blocking off the suburban street from the entrances on Church Road and Moor End Lane, uniformed officers and sniffer dogs were deployed in the early hours to search for evidence.

Initially searching the undergrowth, bushes, and gardens surrounding the corner of Fern Road and Church Road, police then continued their search down Church Road towards Spring Lane – checking front gardens and knocking on the doors of house to near to the crime scene.

A Police Incident Support Unit was also in attendance, isolating two parts of Fern Road and covering potential evidence with small tents.

A vehicle recovery truck was also called to the scene, although it was unclear which vehicles it was removing from the investigation site.

One local resident, who lives on Church Road and saw the first squad car arrive, told Erdington Local: “You hear sirens and see blue lights all the time around here, being just off the High Street, but they don’t usually stop on Church Road. This time they did.

“I never heard any noise or fighting, and the first police car just sat on Fern Road for about quarter of an hour before anyone else turned up – it didn’t feel like a dangerous scene.

“But the roads were fully closed and the police were searching the front gardens nearby, so they must have been looking for something. Or someone.”

Another Church Road neighbour, who came out of her door opposite from the police cordon, told Erdington Local: “I’m was just coming to see what was going on, we were worried for our neighbours.”

Whilst a passer-by also quizzed police at the scene, asking: “how bad is it down there (Fern Road)?”

West Midlands Police issued a statement about the incident on Saturday 7 January.

A spokesperson for West Midlands Police told: “A man has been arrested after another man was stabbed in Fern Road, Erdington just before midnight.

“The victim, in his 40s, was taken to hospital with serious and potentially life-changing injuries. A 35-year-old man remains under arrest for wounding.

“Anyone who witnessed what happened and hasn’t spoken to us should contact us via Live Chat quoting log 4757 of 6/1.

Video of police at scene, blocking off Fern Road

 Video of small tents being erected on Fern Road

 

NEWS: Police tape off Fern Road in midnight investigation on first weekend of New Year

Words & pics by Ed King

Police responded to an incident near Erdington High Street at around midnight on Friday 6 January – cordoning off Fern Road from the corner of Church Road to Moor End Lane.

On the first weekend of the New Year, the first squad car was seen arriving by local residents at around 12am on Friday night/Saturday morning – parking on the corner of Church Road and Fern Road.

One officer was seen searching the surrounding bushes by flashlight, whilst another established police tape blocking off Fern Road to pedestrians and traffic from the entrances on Church Road and Moor End Lane.

A further two more squad cars were parked to prevent traffic from entering from Moor End Lane, with officers advising pedestrians on Church Road to cross over and walk on the opposite side of the street.

One local resident, who lives on Church Road and saw the first squad car arrive, told Erdington Local:

“You hear sirens and see blue lights all the time around here, being just off the High Street, but they don’t usually stop on Church Road. This time they did.

“I never heard any noise or fighting, and the first police car just sat on Fern Road for about quarter of an hour before anyone else turned up – it didn’t feel like a dangerous scene.

“But the roads were fully closed and the police were searching the front gardens nearby, so they must have been looking for something. Or someone.”

A police sniffer dog and handler were later seen coming out of one of the neighbouring gardens, then preceding to search more gardens down Church Road towards Spring Lane.

Officers were also seen knocking on doors of houses next to the crime scene. A further two squad cars were also positioned on the corner of Church Road and Deakin Road but were not preventing vehicle access.

One local resident, who had just come back from the Charlie Hall pub, was surprised to see blue lights flashing near his home.

Whist another Church Road neighbour, who came out of her door opposite from the police cordon, told Erdington Local:

“I’m was just coming to see what was going on, we were worried for our neighbours.”

After nearly two hours of the road closure and ongoing investigation, a police incident van arrived and small triangular tents were erected in the middle of Fern Road, although it was confirmed to Erdington Local: “they are not for bodies.”

A passer-by also quizzed police at the scene, asking: “how bad is it down there (Fern Road)?”

A recovery vehicle arrived at the scene some minutes later, seemingly to remove at least one of the vehicles that appeared parked on Fern Road.

Police at the scene were not able to comment further on the incient or identify if there was any threat to public safety.

Erdington Local has contacted West Midlands Police for an official statement.

Video of police at scene, blocking off Fern Road

 Video of small tents being erected on Fern Road

NEWS: Erdington to get permanent police Inspector as Rachel Derby leaves Birmingham force

Words & pics by Ed King

Erdington is set to get a permanent police Inspector, as the constituency’s temporary ‘top cop’ Rachel Derby will be leaving Birmingham to join the Staffordshire force.

After Erdington’s previous Inspector, Haroon Chughtai, left the constituency in January 2022 – being promoted to Chief Inspector to work in Counter Terrorism – Rachel Derby was the police’s trusted pair of hands who took over whilst a long-term placement was being found.

Nearly a year later and following a “robust HR process” from West Midlands Police, Erdington is about to welcome a full time Inspector to take over the Neighbourhood Police Unit (NPU) and deliver the on-street strategy for combatting crime in the area.

In the final recruitment stages, West Midlands Police will be announcing the name of the new Erdington Inspector “imminently”.

Currently on annual leave, Temporary Inspector Rachel Derby worked her last shift in Erdington on Friday 14 October – handing over to Police Sargeant Frances Clark, who stands as the coordinator for the local NPUs and has a proven track record in community policing.

A spokesperson from West Midlands Police told Erdington Local: “Temporary Inspector Rachel Darby developed excellent relationships with communities in Erdington during her time policing the constituency.

“Rachel is going to Staffordshire Police on promotion next month and is currently on a two-week period of annual leave before she officially transfers.

“In the meantime, Sergeant Fran Clark has oversight of Sutton & Erdington constituency as the coordinator supported by the senior leadership team which is not unusual when Inspectors are on leave.

“This includes a dedicated local policing Chief Inspector and Superintendent who have ownership and responsibility for Birmingham East Neighbourhood Policing Unit.

“We have robust HR processes in place to fill Rachel’s post. This work is currently being done and Rachel’s successor will be starting imminently.”

Since 2010, the West Midlands has seen £175m pulled from its policing budget – losing around 2000 officers, 25% in active service and over 50% allocated to community policing.

Erdington suffers from one of the highest crime rates in the city, with regular calls for more police presence from Erdington residents, community groups, and constituency stakeholders.

In December last year, a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) was reinstated around Erdington High Street – giving local police the power to forcibly remove anyone from the ‘Restricted Area’ they suspect to be intoxicated or causing anti-social behaviour.

Despite being widely welcomed by many who live and work in the Erdington ward, since the PSPO came back into being – having previously operated until 2018 – some local residents feel the extended police authority has made minimal impact.

One Church Road resident, who lives a short walk form Erdington High Street, told: “I thought the idea of the PSPO was great, but it doesn’t seem to have made a difference.

“Earlier this year a man was nearly beaten to death outside Greggs. Things like that shouldn’t be allowed to happen on a busy High Street with a police station five minutes away.

“I can see the High Street from my kitchen window and I hear fights and drunken arguments nearly every night.

“We need more police on the street, plain and simple – at the moment the High Street is basically policed by the Street Warden and some very dedicated Community Support Officers.”

Paulette Hamilton MP has had tackling crime in the constituency high on her agenda since taking office in May this year.

The Erdington Member of Parliament will be bringing the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, to discuss issues over crime with local partners in January 2023 – at her regular ‘Big Conversation’ event.

Simon Foster previously came to Erdington for a tour of the High Street with the late Jack Dromey MP in November 2021, and to meet with the newly formed Street Pastors.

During the visit he told Erdington Local: “My key campaign pledge is to rebuild community policing in the West Midlands because I think dismantling it was a big mistake; it was counterproductive, it’s a false economy.

“It’s really important that we have community initiatives like the Street Pastors, like Neighbourhood Watch, like Street Watch, Speed Watch, Street Wardens,.

“All of those different projects play a really important role in providing that help, reassurance, and support to local communities.”

NEWS: Erdington Skills Centre to review security after “targeted attack” on first day of term

Words by Erdington Local news team / Pics by Ed King

Erdington Skills Centre is reviewing its security measures after a student was stabbed with a machete in the college on the first day of term.

The attack happened inside the college at 3.30pm on Wednesday, 7 September with the victim sustaining a serious hand injury in what the police called “a targeted attack”.

The latest knife crime incident in Erdinton led the Vice Principal of the Edwards Road college to offer staff and students counselling due to its traumatic nature.

Vice Principal of Erdington Skills Centre, Ben Gamble, told Erdington Local the college is now looking to increase security and safety measures.

He said: “We do have security staff based at the centre and they will continue to work from the site.  We are looking to introduce other safety measures and will also be inviting police to come into the centre to talk to students.

“Each year we have a range of support for students and awareness of the impact of knife crime is part of this.”

He added: “Erdington Skills Centre is a thriving and welcoming community on Edwards Road, and we were shocked and saddened by what happened earlier this week.

“We are offering support to any of our staff and students who may have been shaken by the incident and our thoughts are with the person taken to hospital.

“We do have security staff based at the centre and they will continue to work from the site.  We are looking to introduce other safety measures and will also be inviting police to come into the centre to talk to students.”

A West Midlands Police spokesman said: “We were called to Edwards Road in Erdington just after 3.30pm on Wednesday to reports of a stabbing. A 16-year-old boy suffered a serious hand injury when he was attacked with a machete in what is believed to have been a targeted incident.

“He was taken to hospital. One man has been arrested on suspicion of wounding.

The spokesman added: “A weapon has been recovered and will be forensically examined. Witnesses have been spoken to and we are recovering CCTV.

“Anyone with information has been asked to contact us quoting log 2518 of 7 September. Get in touch via Live Chat at west-midlands.police.uk, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555.”

A second suspect was arrested in concerning with the stabbing and both appeared at Walsall Magistrates Court on Friday.

Parents took to social media to voice their concerns about safety at college.

One father posted on the Facebook page of Birmingham Metropolitan College, which runs Erdington Skills Centre, claiming his son was too scared to return to college.

Responding to the parent BMet said: “Police have confirmed that it was a targeted attack and two arrests have been made.

“We have security based at all our colleges as a general safety precaution and the actions of those staff, as well as teaching and support staff at the centre, have been praised by police.

“Security staff will continue to work from Erdington Skills Centre. We are also offering all students 1:1 counselling.”

For more on Erdington Skills Centre visit www.bmet.ac.uk/our-locations/james-watt/erdington-skills-centre or call 0121 446 4545

NEWS: Investigation launched into attempted murder, after shots fired in Soho and suspects apprehended in Erdington on Thursday 7 July

Words & pics by Ed King

Police are calling on the public for information after shootings in Soho yesterday led to four suspects being apprehended in Erdington last night – with a 19 year old man escaping death following a gunshot wound to the leg.

After admitting himself to hospital at around 12:30pm yesterday afternoon, reporting he had been shot at on Clissold Street in the Jewellery Quarter.

Police reported “the offenders made off in a white Vauxhall Astra”, eventually tracking down the vehicle to the car park by Margaret Mary’s Church on Perry Common Road at around 8pm.

After fleeing the scene in a taxi, four people were apprehending by armed police officers around 20 minutes later – with three teenage males, aged 15, 16, and 19, alongside a 20 year old woman arrested for attempted murder.

Police told shots were also fired on Heaton Street, Soho, although no casualties were reported.

Several eyewitnesses around Perry Common Meadows spoke to Erdington Local last night, following the “significant police presence” that appeared around the parkland entrance on Perry Common Road

One local woman and her son were on their way to the Lidl supermarket on College Road, they told:

“We were driving to the supermarket at about 8pm and we saw armed police standing around the car park; there also a couple of (police) cars parked up, but we didn’t think much of it.

“Then by the time we had driven back, about 40mins later, there was a significant police presence – with a white car being loaded on to the back of a tow truck.

“The police were putting blue tape up at the entrance to the meadows and we though this must be something serious.”

Two young men were on the basketball court by the entrance to Perry Common Meadows when the police turned up last night, they told Erdington Local:

“We were just messing about on the court and all these police ran into the park. They started searching around and putting tape up by the car park.

“They didn’t say anything to us, but we thought we’d better leave and just go home. Whatever it was looked serious.”

Another local resident, who lives off Erdington High Street, was waiting at the No28 bus stop when he saw a team of police officers searching the hedgerows on Dovedale Road.

He told Erdington Local: “I was waiting for the bus to go home, and I could see the police car and van parked outside the church (St Margaret Mary’s) on Perry Common Road.

“It didn’t look like anything was happening, but then I saw about six police officers with litter picking sticks looking through the bushes on Dovedale Road.

“I went up to the police and asked what was happening, they were really polite but didn’t tell me much other than it was an ‘ongoing incident’ and there was no reason for the public to be concerned.

“Then I saw the one officer was holding a large knife, or machete, in a sheath – I asked again what was going on and the officer just told me it was ‘in hand’ and there was no danger. I didn’t see or hear anything else.”

After requesting information from the police HQ last night, Erdington Local learnt today about shots having been fired earlier in the day and a 19 year old man admitting himself to hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg.

A statement from West Midlands Police released at around 5pm on Friday 8 July confirmed:

“We’ve arrested four people after a teenager was shot in the leg and shots were fired at an unknown victim in two separate incidents in Birmingham yesterday (7 July).

“A 19-year-old man arrived at hospital with a single gunshot wound to his leg just after 12.30pm. He told officers he had been shot at in Clissold Street, before the offenders made off in a white Vauxhall Astra. His injuries are not life threatening.

“Some time later we received reports of shots being fired on Heaton Street and someone was seen to run from the scene. We have had no reports of any injuries.

“A white car was reportedly involved and the same Astra seen earlier was found in Perry Common Road at 8pm as the occupants made off. A machete was found inside.

“The occupants were believed to have jumped in a taxi, which was intercepted by our firearms officers less than 20 minutes later.

“Two boys, aged 15 and 16, a 19-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, possession of a firearm and possession of drugs. They remain in police custody for questioning.

“Our forensic experts are gathering evidence from each scene and we are exploring CCTV. We have extra officers patrolling the area to reassure the public.”

West Midlands Police are now calling for any information from the public to aid in their investigation, they added:

“We would ask anyone with information to contact us via Live Chat on our website quoting log 1501 of 7/7. We would particularly like to hear from the person shot at in Heaton Road around 5.30pm.

“Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Tell us what you know not who you are.”

NEWS: Man feared dead by staff and public after “beaten unconscious” in attack at Greggs on Erdington High Street

Words by Ed King / Pics by Claire Marshall

A man was feared dead today after being “beaten unconscious” during a random attack in Greggs in broad daylight on Erdington High Street.

After entering the popular sandwich and fast food eatery at around 1-1:30pm, two men got into a sporadic altercation at the counter.

After apprearing to be friends, the larger of the two men viciously “stamp(ed) on him, punched him (the victim) in the face, and kicked him while screaming,” leaving staff and customers fearing the man attacked was dead.

After emergency services were called to the scene, the victim of the horrific afternoon assault was taken to hospital with “serious injuries” – although following immediate concerns West Midlands Police were able to confirm the brutal attack was “fortunately… not life threatening”.

After Greggs staff called the emergency services, a statement from West Midlands Police further confirmed:

“We are investigating after a man was beaten unconscious in Erdington High Street around 1.30pm today.

“The man, in his 30s, was taken to hospital where he remains with serious injuries, although fortunately they are not life threatening.

“A 36-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of wounding and remains in police custody.”

A spokesperson from West Midlands Ambulance Service added: “We were called to reports of an assault on High Street in Erdington at 1.26pm. Two ambulances and the West Midlands Care Team attended the scene.

“On arrival we discovered one male patient who was treated for seriously injuries before being taken to hospital.”

A local resident who was in Greggs at the time of the attack, saw first hand the random and violent nature of the one sided fight that broke out – in broad daylight, at a crowded busy high street establishment.

Not wising to be named, the local resident confirmed to Erdington Local: “I was at Greggs around lunch, when two men came in who appeared to be friends and got to the counter.

“Suddenly the bigger guy knocked the smaller guy onto the floor then proceeded to stamp on him, punched him in the face, and kicked him while screaming.

“He came back, attacked the guy again, then grabbed him by his feet sand dragged him to the door. I was sitting by the door. Two female staff got very upset, and one contacted the police.

“The two staff could not see him from the counter and one thought he was dead, and one of them pulled the metal shutter down. I shouted that the guy was moving and to stop lowering the shutter.

“He (the attacker) came back again screaming and stamping and hitting him (the victim), then pulled him out again.

“He was literally covered in blood, so I got the staff to bring over some tissues… staff contacted the police again, and eventually the ambulances and police arrived.

“While the injured guy was being attended to and four policemen stood outside the shop, talking to some people who had seen the attack outside, the attacker came back – somebody shouted to the police and they chased him round the corner and got him eventually by using a taser.”