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Arrests made as Coventry police tackle rising violence

More than 40 people have been arrested in six weeks as part of a police operation targeting violence in Coventry city centre.

Of the 43 arrests made between 1 January and 7 February, 34 are for drugs possession, four for robbery and two for knife possession, which has led to 16 suspects being charged and placed before the courts.

On Wednesday (6 February), a 17-year-old boy was arrested and charged with possessing a double-bladed knife and nine wraps of Class A drugs, whilst other arrests include 21-year-old Sebastian Latusik - who was arrested on 24 January and charged with possessing a lock-knife - and 19-year-old Nasar Jabarkhail, who was detained seven days earlier and charged with possessing 60 wraps of Class A drugs. 

25 vehicles have also been seized as part of the operation, and more knives recovered during 'weapons sweeps' of parks and open spaces in the city centre.

Superintendent Phil Healy, said: "Tackling violence in Coventry has been made a West Midlands Police priority; it means the city is benefitting from a significant uplift in officers patrolling the city centre with traffic units, response officers, armed patrols and other support teams all increasing their presence here. 

"In addition to increased patrols and proactive operations, intelligence work has been going on behind the scenes to more accurately map the make-up of street gangs and organised crime groups operating in Coventry − and to disrupt their activity.

"The results achieved so far should reassure visitors to the city centre and surrounding area that we are determined to catch and convict people who are seeking to cause harm − and send a strong message to offenders."

Coventry Police and key partners came together at a Violence Summit last week to try identify a collaborative approach that would make the city's streets safer.

The goal is to create a task force consisting of a range of agencies working to address the root causes of violence and intervening early in the lives of vulnerable people before they commit offences.

Supt Healy added: "We really need our communities to work with us to make Coventry safer. If anyone suspects someone routinely carries a weapon, is dealing drugs or involved in any other criminality then please let us know so we can take action." 

You can call West Midlands Police on 101 or Live Chat at WMP Online between 8am and midnight.

Crimestoppers can also be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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