NEWS: Police warn knife crime has “increased drastically” across Erdington after Dea-John murder

Words by Adam Smith / Pics by Ed King

Knife crime has “increased drastically” in Kingstanding and Erdington since the murder of schoolboy Dea-John Reid during May Bank Holiday weekend.

West Midlands Police officers are now conducting more searches of people, public places, and parks for knives – and warned young people not to carry a weapon for self-defence.

Kingstanding PCSO Meg Skelding explained in an email to local residents about the sudden spike in knife crime.

She said: “There has recently been an increase in knife crime within Kingstanding and the surrounding areas. This has increased drastically within the last month even after a young male lost his life to knife crime.

“We need to work together now more than ever to help decrease the amount of knives that are on our streets, please have a word with your young people about the dangers of carrying a knife and even more so about the effects of using a knife.”

Schoolboy Dea-John Reid, aged 14, was stabbed to death on May Bank Holiday Sunday on College Road.

Tensions ran high after his murder which also sparked a massive outpouring of grief – culminating in a vigil at the spot he died, attended by more than 1,000 people.

His funeral was held in Lozells in private last month as his family did not want the service to become a magnet for crowds.

Bishop Desmond Jaddoo, who organised the vigil and advised the Reid family, is unsurprised the police have revealed knife crime has increased.

He told Erdington Local: “I understand there have been several serious incidents since the Dea-John’s murder. I have also been told there has been an increase in racially motived crime too.”

Bishop Jaddoo had targeted Kingstanding last year as an area which needed life-saving bleed control kits installed in local shops and businesses.

He said: “Our research showed after inner city Birmingham, Kingstanding was the area where young people were in danger because of knife crime.

“So, it does not surprise me there has been an increase in knife crime because the problem was already there and the murder has made the situation worse.”

Tragically before locations were found for ten bleed control kids in the area, Dea-John was stabbed to death on College Road, a crime which shocked the entire community.

PCSO Skeldon believes the high-profile murder has led to more young people leaving their home with knives in the misguided belief they will be safer.

She added: “The majority of stabbing victims are stabbed with their own knife that they have taken out for protection.

“If you have concerns about someone or are worried that they might be being drawn into the peer pressure of carrying a knife, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.”

Specialist anti-gang officers have been operating in Erdington and Kingstanding and have succeeded taking dangerous knives off the street.

On Friday West Midlands Police’s Birmingham Organised Crime and Gangs Team tweeted: “Plain clothes officers had cause to stop and search two males on Wheelwright Road in Erdington yesterday evening.

“Both males arrested following the recovery or these awful weapons. There is no excuse! #LivesNotKnives.”

For advice and guidence from West MIdlands Police on knife crime visit www.west-midlands.police.uk/your-options/knife-crime 

To locate a Weapon Surrender Bin in your area visit www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/tackling-violence/weapon-surrender-bins 

PICTURE GALLERY: Shine-a-Light vigil for Dea-John Reid – Sunday 6 June 2021

Pics & videos by Ed King

A selection of pictures and videos from the Shine-a-Light vigil for Dea-John Reid – held on Sunday 6 June 2021, at the place he died on College Road in Kingstanding.

Over 1000 people from across Erdington attended the peaceful vigil, which saw community leaders, local politicians, families and friends come together to mourn the loss of another young life.

For more about the Shine-a-Light vigil for Dea-John Reid click here.


Bishop Desmond Jaddoo adresses crowd

Prayer for unity – Pastor Calvin Young

Psalm 23:4 ‘Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…’

“We are committed to be people of peace” – Bishop Mike Royal

“Every young man… come forward…”

Balloon release

Anyone who can help West Midlands Police with their investigation should contact them urgently via Live Chat on https://west-midlands.police.uk/

Alternatively, people can call West Midlands Police on 101 – quoting log 3313 of 31/5.

NEWS: Two more charged with Dea-John Reid murder as police search for car that “could be crucial to the investigation.”

Words by Ed King / Pic of Dea-John Reid supplied by family – pic of car by West Midlands Police

West Midlands Police have charged a further two people over the murder of Kingstanding teenager, Dea-John Reid.

George Khan, 38, from Newstead Road in Kingstanding, will appear at Birmingham Magistrate Count today – alongside a 14-year-old boy who has also been charged with Dea-John’s murder.

Michael Shields, 35, from Alvis Walk in Castle Bromwich, was charged earlier this week and is now in prison on remand.

As officers continue to examine the horrific attack, which saw 14-year-old Dea John Reid fatally stabbed after being chased by a gang of men and boys on 31 May, West Midlands Police are looking for a car they believe “could be crucial to the investigation.”

It is believed the offenders arrived and left the scene at around 7.30pm in a dark blue VW Golf with the registration number TN07 GBR.

Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Mobberley from the West Midlands Police Homicide Unit, said: “We really need to trace this VW Golf and I would urge anyone who believes they have seen the car or knows of its whereabouts to get in touch.

“It could be crucial to the investigation so if anyone has any information please message us or call.

“People can call anonymously, we don’t need their names, just information.

“We are pursuing all lines of enquiry to find anyone else involved in Dea-John’s tragic death and anyone who has information should contact us.”

As anger and sadness washes over Kingstanding, Bishop Desmond Jaddoo has been calling for calm following reports of racial abuse towards Dea-John before the murder.

The Shine-a-Light candle lit vigil has been organsied for 8:30pm Sunday 6 June, outside the MacDonalds on College Road where the fatal stabbing took place – to bring a grieving community together and heal “whatever divisions we may have.”

Bishop Jaddoo told Erdington Local: “It is important at this time that we focus on the fact a young 14-year-old boy, with his life ahead of him, has been tragically taken.

“At this time, his family are in mourning and let’s focus on healing our community and whatever divisions we may have.

“The Shine-a-Light memorial vigil, taking place this Sunday at the spot where Dea-John lost his life, is important – for us to stand together, in unity and as a community.”

West Midlands Police will also be sending officers to Dea-John’s school, Harborne Academy, once students return after the half term holiday.

A Go Fund page has now been set up to support Dea-John’s family with funeral costs and ‘associated expenses in laying Dea-John to rest’.

To visit the online fundraiser visit:  https://gofund.me/3310a53d

Bishop Jaddoo has been running the Yes2Life campaign alongside Majid Khan, to challenge gun and knife crime across the city. Bishop Jaddoo brought the first bleed control kit to Erdington, installed at The Gravevine off-licence on Hawthorn Road, Kingstanding, in October 2020.

A further bleed control kit was installed at The Juicy Joint on Coton Rd, off Erdington High Street, earlier this year – following support from Scarlett Lewis, mother of 6 year old Jessie Lewis who was shot and killed in the Sandy Hook massacre in Connecticut.

Bishop Desmond Jaddoo with Joan Reid, mother of murdered schoolboy Dea-John Reid

Anyone who can help West Midlands Police with their investigation should contact them urgently via Live Chat on www.west-midlands.police.uk

Alternatively, people can call West Midlands Police on 101 – quoting log 3313 of 31/5.

For more information about bleed control kits and the work being done by Bishop Desmond Jaddoo visit www.desjaddoo.org.uk

For more about the Yes2Life campaign visit www.yes2life.co.uk

NEWS: Castle Bromwich man charged with murder of 14-year-old Dea-John Reid

Words by Ed King / Pics by Jobe Baker Sullivan – pic of Dea-John Reid supplied by West Midlands Police

A man has been formally charged with the murder of 14-year-old Kingstanding teenager, Dea-John Reid, who was stabbed on College Road on Monday 31 May.

Michael Shields, 35, from Alvis Walk in Castle Bromwich, will appear at Birmingham Magistrates Court this morning.

Dea-John’s family is being supported by a specialist Family Liaison Officer and have formally identified him as the victim.

The 14-year-old is understood to have been chased by a group at around 7.30pm on 31 May, before being stabbed on College Road.

He collapsed in the road and was pronounced dead at the scene despite emergency services administering advanced life support; a post mortem examination confirmed he died from a stab wound to his chest,

6 people were arrested on Tuesday 1 June, following an “immediate investigation” from West Midlands Police Homicide team which made “rapid progress”.

Investigating officers “flooded” Kingstanding looking for Dea-John’s killers, conducting interviews and scouring CCTV footage from across the area.

In a statement from West Midlands Police following the arrests on Tuesday, the force confirmed they were able  to “identify the people we believe responsible for the shocking attack.”

“All six were arrested within the space of a few hours this afternoon following the fatal stabbing last night (31 May) of the 14-year-old in Kingstanding.

“A man aged 33 was arrested from an address in Kingstanding at 3.35pm followed by a 13-year-old boy who was detained in the Walsall area.

“Another man aged 38 and a 14-year-old boy were arrested from a vehicle in Cheshire while two men, aged 36 and 35, surrendered to separate police stations in the West Midlands.”

Castle Bromwich man, Michael Shields, will be processed at Birmingham Magistrate Court this morning.

A 38-year-old man and a 14-year-old boy remain in custody for questioning today.

Two men, aged 36 and 33, and a 13-year-old boy have been released with no further action.

Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Mobberley said: “This is a significant step forward in our investigation, but we are still pursuing all lines of enquiry to find anyone else involved in Dea-John’s tragic death.

“We are looking at all the circumstances which led up to the events of Monday evening and anyone who has information should contact us.”

Anyone who can help West Midlands Police with their investigation should contact them urgently via Live Chat on www.west-midlands.police.uk

Alternatively, people can call West Midlands Police on 101 – quoting log 3313 of 31/5.