#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 15°C Saturday 8 May 2021

'Worst thing officers have ever seen': Five teens arrested after violence at cinema in Birmingham

Two cinema chains have pulled Blue Story from its screens following Saturday’s violence.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

FIVE TEENAGERS, INCLUDING a 13-year-old girl, have been arrested after seven police officers were injured at a Birmingham cinema, at a screening of Blue Story a film about gang violence in London.

Police were called to Star City on Saturday evening following reports of youths with machetes.

Two of the weapons were seized, alongside another knife, and seven officers were left with facial injuries, according to West Midlands Police.

A dispersal order was used to clear the group of up to 100.

A 13-year-old girl, a girl and a boy, both aged 14, and a 19-year-old man were held on suspicion of assaulting police.

A 14-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of obstructing police.

Investigators have asked anyone with any video or pictures of the incident to get in touch.

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 […] were met with a very hostile response and officers had to draw tasers to restore order.

It’s clear that some of those who went to Star City last night were intent on causing trouble.

Chief Superintendent Steve Graham said the force used by officers was “proportionate”, adding that the disorder took 90 minutes to break up because police were not “heavy-handed”.

Asked where the incident ranked compared with other reports of disorder, Mr Graham said: “It’s always hard to gauge these sorts of things – but what I will say is incidents like last night are rare.

“As for some officers who were there [on Saturday], it may be the worst thing they have ever seen.”

Two cinema chains – Vue and Showcase Cinemas – have said they are pulling Blue Story from its screens.

A Vue spokesman said: “We can confirm a decision was made to remove the film.

“The safety and welfare of our customers and staff is always our first priority.”

Film writer and director Andrew Onwubolu described the incident as “truly unfortunate” and said he hoped it was not an “indictment” of the film.

He also compared the violence to that which occurred during The Joker’s US screen run, where there were safety fears due to fringe calls for violence at screenings.

Onwubolu said on Instagram on Sunday afternoon: “Sending love to all those involved in yesterday’s violence at Star City in Birmingham.

It’s truly unfortunate that a small group of people can ruin things for everybody. Bluestory is a film about love not violence.

About the author:

Press Association

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel