Gang Warfare in West Midlands: Shotgun Blasts Rock the Streets as Violence Escalates

BIRMINGHAM, England – Gang violence in the West Midlands has escalated as criminals are choosing to use shotguns in their street battles. The dangerous trend has seen an increase in the use of shotguns in nearly half of the recorded shootings in the region in the 12 months leading up to August, according to West Midlands Police. The increased use of these deadly weapons has led to instances of gunfire in broad daylight, with 55 shotgun blasts recorded in the area during that period.

While the overall number of shootings decreased during that time, the continued use of these weapons in the ongoing conflicts between drug and crime gangs has raised concerns among senior police officers. A new serious crime report revealed that there were 95 recorded “lethal barrelled firearms discharges” in the 12 months leading up to August 2023, representing a slight decrease from the previous year.

One such incident involved a “drive-by ambush” in Wolverhampton, where a shotgun was fired from a moving car, leaving residents terrified. Another incident occurred in Walsall, where a shotgun was fired from a car in the middle of the afternoon as children were leaving school. In response to these alarming trends, the police force has intensified its efforts to target criminal gangs using these weapons over the past year.

West Midlands Police reported that shotguns remain the most commonly used lethal barrelled firearm, accounting for 45% of discharges during the 12-month period. The force has recovered 139 lethal barrelled firearms in the most recent 12-month period, an increase from the 122 firearms recovered in the previous year. The police’s response to firearm-related incidents is channeled through Operation Captiva, which coordinates firearms activity and monitors performance throughout the force.