Radio Sandwell Local News

Lozells: Dozens of residents march to demand action on gun crime

2015-12-13 00:41:29

LozellsAnti-gun campaigners marched for peace in Lozells on Saturday afternoon.

A Birmingham MP joined dozens of anti-gun campaigners who marched for peace yards from the spot where a teenager was shot.

Labour’s Khalid Mahmood urged the Government to end police funding cuts in the wake of recent gun attacks in Birmingham.

He spoke at a Walk for Peace event in Lozells on Saturday afternoon.

LozellsAn anti-gun campaigner dressed as Santa.

Around 30 people braved the wind and rain to walk the streets for an hour, holding signs reading: ‘No to guns, yes to life.”

Mr Mahmood, who is Perry Barr MP, said: “Gun crime is a huge problem.

“For the last 15 years we have fought it as hard as we can, with community sport and programs to get it down, and we did get it down.

LozellsAnti-gun campaigners marched for peace in Lozells on Saturday afternoon.

“Now, with officers being taken away from the streets, it has started rising again.

“It’s coming back now because of the lack of resources that police are putting into the area.

“The clear message to the government is that we want those resources back here so we can stop this.”

The event, organised by community activist Desmond Jaddoo, is one of several walks to be held from St Silas Church after a 19-year-old was gunned down in Lozells Road on Monday.

The unnamed victim was left with back and leg injuries and remains in a stable condition in hospital.

“The purpose of the marches is to reach out to the community to show we care,” Mr Jaddoo said.

“There is a feeling of fear at the moment, and this is about the community taking back control.

“There needs to be an improved relationship between local people and the authorities.”

Six shootings are known to have taken place in Birmingham between October 2 and November 2.

They include the killing of 19-year-old student Connor Smith on October 8, who was shot dead and left in a Kings Norton street.

On October 30, Derek Junior Myers , aged 25, known to friends as Trench, was shot dead in Soho Hill, on the border of Hockley and Handsworth.

Another victim was also injured in the attack and left in critical condition.

The Rev Larry Wright, from St Silas Church, said: “Some people are in a state of resignation about it, they think nothing will ever change.

“But some of us want to raise our voices in protest against the levels of crime, and particularly gun and knife crime, in our areas.

“We are calling upon people in the community, whether they have faith or no faith, to work together to improve our community.

“We want to show there is an alternative life away from the dubious glamour of the guns and the gangs around here.

“We don’t want that sort of violence in our streets, and we will do whatever we can to help people divert away from that sort of life.”

A Walk for Peace will take place every Saturday, including Boxing Day, unitl January 2.

Then, a community concert will be staged at Assemblies Of The First Born Church on Lozells Road at 5.30pm.

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