West Midlands police have launched a murder investigation after a man was stabbed to death on a double-decker bus in Handsworth, Birmingham.
A man in his 30s was found with stab wounds on the top deck of the 11A bus, after a passenger reported an attack at 10.43pm as the vehicle headed towards the centre of Birmingham on Monday night.
Paramedics tried to resuscitate the man but he died from his injuries soon after they arrived. He has not been formally identified.
Police were searching for the alleged attacker, who was seen leaving the bus. He was described as a black man, about 30 years old, wearing a baseball cap and padded jacket.
Rookery Road, where the attack took place, was sealed off, together with two other adjoining roads, as forensic teams collected evidence at the scene. Detectives were also reviewing CCTV footage from the bus and the local area.
The attack is the second stabbing in a week on Rookery Road amid growing concerns about a rise in knife crime and gang-related violence in the area.
Last week, a man was wounded in a barber shop, according to Desmond Jaddoo, who runs Yes to Life, a Birmingham-based multifaith initiative aimed at tackling knife crime.
Jaddoo, who is a trainee minister, said: “There is shock, horror and concern in the community. This whole problem of people carrying weapons has to remain in the forefront of community safety.”
Asked if he thought Monday night’s incident was a retaliation to last week’s attack, he said: “It is difficult to say, because the circumstances are different. The one last week was in a barber shop. The one last night was on top of the No 11 bus.”
Before Monday’s stabbing his campaign had planned an anti-knife march on 4 February on Rookery Road.
Jaddoo said: “People are really concerned about the spike in knife crime and a lot of work is being done to highlight the danger of knives. The whole idea of a reeducation process around the use of weapons to deal with dispute is absolutely essential.”
Jaddoo said there had been an alarming increase in knife crime. “I grew up in the Aston Handsworth area, and when I was younger people used to settle disputes with their fists or through dialogue. Now unfortunately people will settle their disputes with weapons.”
Handsworth is one of the poorest areas in Birmingham and is still remembered for riots against the police in the 1980s. Jaddoo said today’s violence is different.
He said: “I remember the riots, but they were based more on community relations with the authorities, this is more now people on people. And in terms of people on people crime it at a brand new level.”
Dave Virdee, who runs Virdee Estates, a lettings and estate agents on Rookery Road, said antisocial behaviour in the area was driving people away. He said: “These things are really getting on our nerves. There are too many stabbings and stealings. When I joined this place 10 or 11 years ago it was very clean, very calm, very quiet. Slowly things have got messier and on every corner you see gangs of young people standing around doing antisocial things.
“It has affected businesses a lot. Our clients will ask ‘Do you have anything outside Handsworth?’. We feel it has had an impact.”
Temporary superintendent Tom Chisholm, said: “The investigation is in the early stages but it is believed the man was stabbed following an altercation between him and the offender on the upper deck of the outer circle No 11A bus as it travelled along Rookery Road in Handsworth.
“I am appealing for anyone who was travelling on the bus last night and who has information or anyone who saw the offender after leaving the bus to call police.”
The police asked anyone with information to call them on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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