Life in “forgotten” suburbs where crime is so rampant gangs have stopped hiding it

Desperate residents in Caldmore and Palfrey in Walsall, West Midlands, are said to be so scared of rival gangs roaming the streets that they are afraid to leave their homes or speak out

Police at the scene after gunshots were heard in Caldmore in Walsall
Police at the scene after gunshots were heard in Caldmore in Walsall

Desperate families living in two ‘forgotten’ suburbs say crime is so bad gangs have stopped hiding their illegal activities.

Residents of Caldmore and Palfrey in Walsall, West Midlands, say they feel they are locking themselves in and fear reprisals for speaking out, according to a community group.

Drive-by shootings and other firearm use, hit and run and drug trafficking are among the criminal activities plaguing both areas, it said.

This is reportedly due, at least in part, to the activities of several competing gangs BirminghamLive.

West Midlands Police have stepped up patrols and been given special temporary stop and search powers immediately after certain incidents.

However, it is believed that more needs to be done to regain control.

The most recent incident in January saw a 32-year-old man being shot at with a shotgun by a Mitsubishi Shogun in broad daylight on Caldmore’s Wednesday Road.

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Both suburbs are said to have become hotbeds of gang crime


Birmingham Live)

A man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, and the suspect was subsequently released on bail.

In July last year, two men aged 30 and 31 were stabbed to death on the street in Caldmore Green.

And in May 2020, the windows of takeaway restaurants K2 Pizza and Peri Peri in Caldmore Green were smashed by an armed gang.

A community group – who wished to remain anonymous – believes both areas have been “left to decay”.

A source for the group said: “The community feels let down.

“It’s a disadvantaged, low-income, low-educated area that’s allowed to rot and deteriorate relative to other, more prosperous areas.”

The group said the lack of a police presence led to open crime.

“Crime happens every day, there is no fear from those who commit the crime as they get away with it,” they added.

“Caldmore, Palfrey and neighboring areas are now riddled with crime.

“It went from bad to very bad.

“Previously, land and vehicles could be left open. Today, many homes are installing security measures such as video surveillance, alarm systems, and additional locks.

“Residents live in fear, in their own homes.

“They feel unsafe when they go out, even to the shops or to the park, and walk around the area. They are afraid to report and speak out about crimes because they have no protection.

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“They fear they will be targeted if they speak out. The residents can no longer live normally and relaxed in their own four walls as they used to.”

Resident Adam Muhamed, who has lived in Palfrey for a decade, said cars are being stolen every day and he believes the thieves know they can get away with it.

He added: “I’ve seen the area deteriorate more and more. It’s gotten to a point where the police don’t even bother to show up or investigate.

“There are no actual officers or teams active or engaged in these areas.

“We only see the police when something really serious happens – but by then it’s too late. Crime in the area is exploding and the community lives in fear.”

Another resident, who asked to be given her name, said: “I don’t feel so safe here. I think when our lease expires we will move.”

Walsall Council is said to have put up signs warning against loitering, drinking and littering.

A council spokesman said: “The council and police take all crime seriously and that applies to all of Walsall.

“Whenever there are concerns in the community we will work with our partners such as West Midlands Police to address such issues in our Safer Walsall partnership.

“We urge the public to continue reporting crimes wherever and whenever they encounter them.”

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