Our response to West Midlands Police’s joint statement

Filed under: Campaign / General

On Sunday 18 June 2023, West Midlands Police, Birmingham City Council and Transport for West Midlands published a statement about the recent road violence in Birmingham.

Better Streets for Birmingham welcomes the fact that our demonstration today on Sunday 18 June 2023 in Kings Heath, Birmingham has prompted West Midlands Police, Birmingham City Council and Transport for West Midlands to come together to discuss the epidemic of dangerous driving on our roads. The fact that our public bodies have made this statement, acknowledges they recognise the strength and depth of anger and frustration among the people of Birmingham who witness dangerous and aggressive driving on our roads every day.

We are grateful for West Midlands Police’s swift and immediate response to the collision last Thursday involving two people including a child in Kings Heath. But this level of police activity came too late as both victims remain seriously injured in hospital.

We call for our police force to tackle the dangerous and aggressive behaviour on our roads that we see on a day-to-day basis, across all of Birmingham and the wider region’s neighbourhoods. We need prevention, not reaction.

We do not feel the Police’s statement goes far enough as it offers no action for change. Especially in light of the fact that eight people’s lives have been seriously changed or ended in just four weeks. Driving offences continue to be commonplace, putting all road users at risk.

We call on the Police to create a detailed plan for a step change in enforcement and behaviour change. We will write to the Police next week with actions we would like to see as part of this plan, for example, improved third-party reporting and a more robust local roads policing approach, supported by Safer Neighbourhood Teams.

We call on Birmingham City Council, Transport for West Midlands and West Midlands Police to urgently hold a press conference to declare this endemic road violence an emergency in our city.

We continue to have constructive conversations with Birmingham City Council and the Mayor of the West Midlands. But we are painfully aware that conversations are not enough. The people of Birmingham need action.

Avatar photo

Better Streets for Birmingham

Better Streets for Birmingham is a community group which campaigns for changes to our travel and planning infrastructure to improve the sustainability, efficiency and safety of our streets. We believe that through connecting Birmingham to reduce car dependency, we will make it a more pleasant place to work, live and play.