Police ‘stepping up’ presence in Birmingham following violent attack on gay couple

Rob and Patrick covered in blood following a homophobic hate crime in Birmingham

Police are increasing patrols in Birmingham after several violent assaults in recent weeks, including a suspected homophobic hate crime.

West Midlands Police told ITV it would be “stepping up” patrols in the city after violent attacks killed three men and seriously injured others.

Superintendent James Littlehales, responsible for local policing in Birmingham and Birmingham City Centre, said the crimes could not be allowed to continue.

“We’re stepping up our policing presence, and we continue to work with security staff in licensed premises, and our wider partners,” he said. “Please come and enjoy our wonderful city – but be kind. We must look after each other and enjoy a great atmosphere.”

The officer reminded people that violent behaviour won’t be tolerated, and will result in arrests.

“I want to emphasise the fact that Birmingham is a great place to come out and visit and socialise, but the message is to that small minority: You will be arrested and you will be charged and put before the courts if you have the intention of committing disorder, or participating in that disorder.”

Three arrests have already been made in connection with last month’s attack on a gay couple who were viciously beaten with glass bottles in Birmingham’s Gay Village.

The victims told PinkNews they’d tried to start up a conversation with a group of men but it quickly descended into violence and homophobic slurs. Both individuals needed hospital treatment after the attack, as did their female friend who was injured after being dragged by a moving vehicle.

“If they had knives in their car instead of bottles, then I think I would probably be still in hospital,” one victim said.

Police are still investigating three other attacks which were unfortunately fatal.

25-year-old Jason Bentley-Morrison was stabbed in the stomach in Oxford Street and later died in hospital on 22 August.

His death was followed by Matthew Carroll, 50, who was out with his son and his friends when they were involved in a fight. Carroll suffered a fractured skull when he was hit with an object and died in hospital on 29 August.

Days later Amarpal Atkar, 33, was found seriously injured after an alleged assault on Stephenson Street. He also died in hospital on 31 July.