From arresting suspected drug dealers at gun point to hoax calls and a firearm alert that turned out to be a man holding a mobile phone, last night was another busy and varied shift for armed officers at West Midlands Police.

Cops on board one of the force’s ARVs (Armed Response Vehicles) intercepted an Audi S3 on Wolverhampton Road in Walsall at around 9.30pm on the back of information linking the car to organised crime.

Both the driver and passenger tried running from the car but were quickly chased down and a carrier bag which was understood to have been discarded by one of the suspects was found nearby containing a large quantity of Class A drugs.

Men aged 36 and 43 were arrested on suspicion of possessing drugs with intent to supply and remain in police custody.

Another drug deal suspect was arrested in Woodlands Road in Sparkhill at 1.15am this morning (14/11) after a member of the public dialled 999 to report a suspicious vehicle in the street.

Armed officers recovered around 20 bags of suspected crack cocaine from the car and a 27-year-old man from Handsworth is now in custody for questioning.

However, the ARVs also spent time overnight responding to:

  • A 999 call made by a drunk man suggesting he was being threatened by someone with a gun in Tipton. Officers attended and there was no evidence to suggest any truth in the claim.
  • A false and malicious call made by a man in Sheldon who’d reported an armed kidnap; he was taken for a mental health assessment.
  • And a false alarm in Wednesbury after a panicked member of the public reported seeing a man pointing a gun at a motorist’s head. The driver was located by officers and it turned out to be a passenger holding a mobile phone to his ear.

West Midlands Police Force Incident Manager, Chief Inspector Andy Keast, said: “Last night’s shift is a snap-shot of the kind of incidents our armed officers attend – detaining people we suspect are dangerous and involved in armed criminality but also having time taken up with false alarms and bogus calls.

“We have armed units out and about across the West Midlands all the time. They are in unmarked cars so people might not know they are on patrol – but rest assured they are primed to respond to emergency incidents as very short notice.

“We always take reports of suspected armed crime seriously so anyone who believes someone is in possession of a gun should dial 999 without hesitation.”