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Mass fight shuts down Star City as teenage machete gang causes chaos at cinema

By Jordan Reynolds | Crime | Published:

A cinema was locked down and seven police officers were injured after violence broke out at Star City in Birmingham.

Police at Star City in Birmingham on Saturday. Photo: SnapperSK

Officers armed with Tasers and dog units were used to restore order after fighting broke out and youths armed with machetes arrived at the Vue Cinema on Saturday.

Witnesses described the terrifying moment violence broke out in the Star City complex in Neachells as people waited to watch disney film Frozen 2 and London gang drama Blue Story at around 5.30pm.

Five teenagers were arrested and two machetes were seized, West Midlands Police said. A knife was also found at a nearby roundabout.

WATCH: Footage shows chaos inside cinema

Meanwhile there was major congestion in the area as Star City was locked down and police cars filled the area near the M6 in the north east of Birmingham.

One eyewitness said that “a young boy was crying on the floor with his mother” as a number of young people started fighting.

Police at Star City in Birmingham on Saturday. Photo: SnapperSK

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Rachael Allison said: “The police told everyone to leave the cinema as they held Taser guns in their hands and started to bring in guard dogs.

“I spoke to a policeman who told me it is unclear whether the kids had weapons and also stated when kids fight they bring their group of friends.”

Police at Star City in Birmingham on Saturday. Photo: SnapperSK

Another eyewitness described it as “one of the scariest moments of [her] life”, as she queued to watch the new Frozen film with her daughter.

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Choleigh McGuire said: “Armed police come, Tasers come, all of the people that were fighting ran off into the cinema, hiding. I am shaking.”

Supt Ian Green, from Birmingham police, 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.

Police at Star City in Birmingham on Saturday. Photo: SnapperSK

“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 last night were intent on causing trouble."

Officers used a dispersal order to clear the area, while the cinema management made the decision to close for the evening. Star City was open as normal again on Sunday but with no showings of the Blue Story film.

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

The officers hurt during the trouble had minor facial injuries and the area was largely clear by around 9pm, police said.

Police at Star City in Birmingham on Saturday. Photo: SnapperSK

“We’ve had a great response from the public who have been very supportive of our officers," Supt Green added.

"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 last night’s 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 last night.

“I’d ask anyone with images or video who has not yet got in touch already to do so that we can make further arrests.”

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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