West Midlands Police have urged Muslims to respect social distancing guidelines when celebrating Eid and have warned that anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.
Inspector Neil Kirkpatrick, who is responsible for the Birmingham Hall Green Constituency, warned Muslims in particular to refrain from “attending the Ladypool Road area in cars with the sole intention of making noise and driving in an anti-social manner.”
In a message to the community he said: “As we know, things are that little bit more difficult this year with COVID still restricting some of the things we all used to do and take for granted. This brings me to the evening before Eid, in this case Thursday 30th July. I am conscious that people may want to come and visit the Ladypool Road area for family celebrations and to eat out. West Midlands Police wants to support this as long as Covid guidelines are being adhered to.
“What we have seen, though, is anti social behaviour and noise levels that do impact on the local community. Typically this involves cars and younger people who come to the area revving engines and blowing horns into the early hours. This is an activity that we would urge the community to refrain from. It does cross the line of anti social behaviour and impacts the lives of the local community that include the elderly and young children.
“I would urge people not to celebrate in this particular way and refrain from attending the Ladypool Road area in cars with the sole intention of making noise and driving in an anti social manner.
“I have planned the policing operation for the area for the evening which will include police ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) operations and officers on duty until the early hours of the morning to deal with this problem should it arise. We do want people to enjoy themselves, but anti Sscial behaviour cannot be tolerated.”
The anti-social behaviour on Eid in Ladypool Road has become infamous with numerous videos testifying to the blocking of roads, excessive honking of horns, dancing and swearing in the streets, among other hooligan-like behaviour.
Birmingham resident and activist Shakeel Afsar welcomed the police statement and said he has started a campaign to stop anti-social behaviour and hooliganism in this area.
He told 5Pillars: “I don’t agree or disagree with people taking their families out on Eid – they can do whatever they want. But it’s the anti-social aspect of it, the behaviour can be absolutely crazy and un-Islamic on Ladypool Road. It spoils it for the families who are there and it’s just a small amount of hooligans in their cars taking drugs.
“Ladypool Road is so congested and has so many roads which run off it where so many elderly people reside. And they will be stuck. On Thursday night after 8pm they won’t be able to get out of their houses, no emergency vehicles can get through, no fire services can get through. I know this makes our community look bad but the truth is the truth. And it’s not people who live here who are doing this, it’s people coming in from outside. It’s setting a wrong example for our future generations.”