Police patrols in Coventry city centre have been increased as thousands of Christmas shoppers descend on the city centre over the next few weeks following the lifting of lockdown measures which saw non-essential retail reopen.
Local neighbourhood policing teams are working with West Midlands Police’s Project Guardian Taskforce – set up to tackle youth violence – to provide a high visibility presence in Coventry.
Uniformed and plain clothed police officers have been specially trained to identify the tell-tale signs that someone is intent on committing crime and are being supported by other resources such as search dogs, armed officers, drones and a network of CCTV cameras.
Knife arches and wands have also been employed in recent weeks, including at Coventry railway station, in an effort to reduce knife crime and catch those carrying weapons on public transport.
Following stop a searches, West Midlands Police recovered drugs and weapons from three men in Coventry, two aged 31, and one aged 29, who have all been released pending further investigation.
Another man, aged 30, has been charged with the possession of drugs after officers found large quantities and cash on him.
Inspector James Tandy explained: “The overwhelming majority of people we met last weekend were out safely enjoying the reopening of shops and the festivities.
“Our high visibility patrols around the key areas were well received and we were able to talk to lots of people and completed over 100 stop and searches.”
The news comes after a spate of early-morning robberies at stores in Coventry in recent weeks, with two Greggs bakeries in the city centre being targeted.
Outside the city centre, another incident occurred on Saturday evening when two men wearing masks, gloves and dark clothing threatened staff with a knife at Costcutter store on Tile Hill Lane and demanded money from the till.
Their robbery attempt was unsuccessful, but West Midlands Police are appealing for information to find those responsible.
Inspector Tandy insisted: “Our team are committed to helping to keep you safe.”