Six teenagers arrested after cinema violence leaves seven officers injured
Seven police officers were injured when violence broke out at the Star City multiplex cinema in Birmingham on Saturday (November 23) during a screening of the gang-themed film Blue Story.
Dozens of officers were sent to the complex after a 999 call just after 5.30pm reporting a group of youths with machetes.
West Midlands Police officers were forced to draw Tasers to restore order as pockets of fighting broke out among a group of more than 100 youths in and around the cinema.
Two machetes were seized during the trouble and a dispersal order was used to clear the venue, with management at the cinema making the independent decision to close for the evening.
Six teenagers, including a 13-year-old girl, have been arrested in connection with the “major outbreak of trouble”.
The officers hurt during the incident suffered minor facial injuries. In addition to the machetes, a knife was recovered from a roundabout near to the venue. West Midlands Police said officers were working to understand the reason for the trouble.
Superintendent Ian Green said: “This was a major outbreak of trouble which left families who were just trying to enjoy a night out at the cinema understandably frightened.
“We worked quickly to move the crowds on, but were met with a very hostile response and officers had to draw Tasers to restore order. Thankfully, the injuries to our officers were very minor. We’ve also recovered two machetes and a knife, and it’s clear that some of those who went to Star City were intent on causing trouble.
“We’ve had a great response from the public who have been very supportive of our officers. We understand that families with young children will have been left upset by what they saw last night, but we urge people to appreciate that our aim last night was to protect the public and restore order, and that’s what we achieved.
“We’re aware of a number of images and videos circulating on social media which appear to show those involved in the violence. We are assessing those and have already had a number of phone calls from members of the public giving us the names of people they believe were involved.”
Supt Green added that they were urging anyone with images or video who has not yet got in touch already to do so that they can make further arrests.
Five teenagers were arrested on Saturday night on suspicion of assaulting police – a 13-year-old girl, a girl and boy both aged 14 and a 19-year-old man. In addition, a boy, aged 14, was held on suspicion of obstructing police. While in custody, the five were further arrested on suspicion of violent disorder. They have since been released on bail with strict conditions. A sixth teenager was arrested on Sunday (November 24) on suspicion of violent disorder after an image circulated on social media showed a number of youths, with one carrying a machete.
Chief Constable Dave Thompson commended the officers who dealt with events at Star City and confirmed that “a thorough investigation was now underway”.
Blue Story is a film about two friends from different South London postcodes who become rivals in a street war.