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: 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.”