Words & pics by Ed King
Part of Erdington High Street remains closed off today, following an alleged violent assault that took place early in the evening on Friday 10 February outside The Swan pub.
According to sources on the High Street, a man was assaulted at around 6pm on the Friday as he tried to break up a fight between other people who were arguing on the street outside the popular Erdington boozer.
Another source who was close to the incident told Erdington Local the attack was unprovoked, with police reviewing CCTV footage to confirm details of the alleged assault.
A statement from West Midlands Police said: “We were called to a disorder in Erdington High Street shortly after 6pm on 10 February. One man suffered serious head injuries and remains in a critical condition in hospital.
“Following the incident, the offenders have made off and investigations are now underway. Anyone with information can contact us via Live Chat on our website or by calling 101 quoting log 3244 of 10 February.”
Blue police tape has cordoned off a large area outside the pub, with police riot shields laid over areas of the pavement – possibly protecting areas for forensics to study.
During a visit to the scene this morning, Erdington Local saw two members of the public crawl under the police tape – with one looking like he was trying to make his way into The Swan, despite the pub having closed its doors whilst police search for clues.
Officers at the scene confirmed to Erdington Local there is no ongoing danger to members of the public whilst the “investigation is ongoing.”
Two Street Pastors were also at the scene this morning, trying to find out what had happened and to offer support to anyone who might be frightened or worried by the significant police presence.
Erdington High Street is too often blighted with crime and anti-social behaviour, and the presence of blue police tape cordoning off parts of the busy thoroughfare can quickly spark fear and speculation in the minds of Saturday shoppers.
The Street Pastors, Sue and Janet, told Erdingotn Local: “We were just on our patrol this morning and somebody in The Cube has told us something has happened down here (by The Swan) so we walked up here.
“We don’t know what happened fully, but we just pray God’s blessings on the situation and the families affected. We will be here on the High Street if people want to talk; we’re here for them.”
Erdington High Street has become a hotbed of crime and anti-social behaviour over recent years, with routine shoplifting and brazen drug dealing turning what was once the busiest High Street in the city into a “lawless” area where people are increasingly too afraid to visit.
The Erdington Street Warden, who is employed by the Erdington Business Improvement District (EBID), and the individual shop security teams work tirelessly to keep people safe and deter crime on the High Street.
But private security in the area have told Erdington Local they feel often unsupported by a lack of official police presence – especially in the absence of PCSO Sue Haskin, who is well known and respected with her constant patrolling on the High Street but is off duty due to injury.
Even when shoplifters are apprehended and detained, if police do respond to their call the offender is too often released or not processed in anyway to act as a deterrent to other offenders – Erdington Local has been told.
We will be asking the region’s top cop if he will commit to a stance of ‘no tolerance’ to crime on the High Street, working with both local officers and the High Street’s existing external security to turn the tide of criminal activity and anti-social behaviour.
Anyone with information can contact West Midlands Police via Live Chat on www.west-midlands.police.uk or by calling 101 quoting log 3244 of 10 February.
If you have been affected by crime and anit-social behaviour on Erdington High Street, or by anything raised in this article, you can tell us your story via firstname.lastname@example.org