Birmingham: Gang film pulled by cinema chain after machete brawl at complex

A film about gangs has been removed by a cinema chain following a large brawl at one of its venues.

Seven officers were injured after police were called to Star City in Birmingham on Saturday evening following reports of youths with machetes.

A 13-year-old girl was among five teenagers who have been arrested following the disturbance.

More than 100 people were at the Vue cinema and "pockets of fighting" broke out as officers tried to clear the area, West Midlands Police said.

A senior police chief said the disorder "may be the worst thing" the responding officers had ever seen.

The chain has confirmed that Blue Story will no longer be shown in any of its 91 outlets in the UK and Ireland.

The movie is about two friends on rival sides in a London gangland war. It has a 15 rating for very strong language, strong violence, threat, sex, and drug misuse.

The 13-year-old, along with another girl and a boy, both aged 14, as well as a 19-year-old man, were arrested on suspicion of assaulting police. Another 14-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of obstructing police.

Officers went to the entertainment complex in the Nechells area just after 5.30pm following reports that a group with machetes had arrived.

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

Asked if he was concerned about the ages of those involved, Mr Graham said: "It is concerning."

A dispersal order was put in place, allowing police to arrest anyone who did not leave the area - which was largely cleared by 9pm.

Three officers suffered minor face injuries in the incident, and as well as seizing two machetes, police also recovered a knife from a roundabout close to the cinema.

Police are working to understand why trouble broke out at the venue.

Witnesses say that police attended the scene with firearms, Tasers and police dogs.

The cinema remained closed for the rest of the evening.

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."

Police said that they did not recommend the film was removed.

Chief Superintendent Graham said: "We've made no recommendations to Vue at all. If they choose to continue showing it, that's a matter for them."

His colleague Superintendent Ian Green said of the violence: "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 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."

He added that: "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."

Police have been looking at images and video of the incident on social media, and called on anybody who has pictures or footage of the incident to come forward.

West Midlands police are encouraging people to get in touch through its online live chat, by calling 101, or via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.