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The ordinary little English city ‘with more crime than cities where the Mafia run riot’

This city of nearly 35,000 people has seen ‘significant gang and drug related crime in recent years’ according to public figures.

This city in the heart of England has ranked higher than the traditional haunts of crime gangs like the Mafia in European crime charts.

Coventry, in the West Midlands, is famous for the band The Specials and for being the birthplace of the inventor of the jet engine, Sir Frank Whittle.

But it’s crime that has really taken off in recent years in a city that was once a powerhouse of motor manufacturing.

In 2022 the home of the Sky Blues football club ranked second in European cities for crime in an index produced by statisticians Numbeo.

And this year it still comes in at fourth in the table, higher again than the Italian city of Naples, which is renowned for being awash with organised crime.

The figures in the table are based on looking at three years’ worth of data, as well as surveys on how people perceive crime levels and their safety in their cities.

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A survey also asked residents about their feelings on the number of burglaries, thefts, violent crimes, homicides and sexual offences.

Knife crime has been an increasing problem in Coventry with police carrying out knife sweeps in parks in an attempt to find the weapons. More than 7,000 knife crime incidents were reported in the West Midlands last year, the highest outside London.

Just this week West Midlands Police issued an appeal after a teenager was robbed a knifepoint for his phone in the city and in February this year there were reports of a 14-year-old girl being slashed by a blade outside a school.

And last week CoventryLive reported horrified witnesses seeing “a man covered in blood stumbling down the street” after reports of an incident with a knife. In another shocking incident, again this month, the paper reported two youths armed with blades left a family shaken after they stormed into a house in the early hours.

Initiatives announced to tackle the scourge of knife crime include £6million of Government funding earmarked for a Community Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV), that will see gang members offered job and mentoring support.

Conservative councillor Peter Male, who represents the Woodlands Ward in the Labour controlled city, told he is often contacted by residents concerned about crime.

He said: “Coventry has experienced significant gang and drug related crime in recent years, with several high-profile incidents resulting in death or serious injury. The police response has been pro-active and information driven.

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“I welcome recent targeted initiatives by West Midlands Police that have seen intensified use of police resources in specific locations around the city.

“As a ward Councillor I am often contacted by residents who are concerned about crime, have witnessed crime or who have been the victim of crime.

“However, ward Councillors have a good working relationship with the community police team, with information sharing enabling less serious crime to be addressed at local level.”

Speaking about the funding announcement to tackle knife crime in the city, Chief Inspector Daryl Lyon, from West Midlands Police told the BBC the initiative would “look at the issues that cause people to carry knives in the first place and accesses future opportunity for them.”

He added: “So we’ve got a really complex solution coming to address the complex drivers that cause people to carry knives in the first instance.”

(Source: Express)

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