I visited Birmingham community where shop owners are worried for the future

Shard End locals have spoken of concerns for the future of the area with a 'nice community' following a shocking knife attack. I visited the Heath Way square in Shard End as it was filling up with residents visiting the shops and other businesses on a busy Wednesday morning.

A day before, a lengthy police cordon had blocked the road and it was a topic on lots of lips. It was put up after a vile knife attack which left a 27-year-old man seriously injured on Bank Holiday Monday.

Hours before the stabbing, a family fun day was being held outside Costcutters to celebrate the store's rebranding to Go Local Extra. By all accounts, children thoroughly enjoyed the free bouncy castle, balloons, face painting, food and other entertainments which brightened up an otherwise drizzly grey start to the half-term holidays.

Read More: Shard End live after man stabbed near Heath Way Post Office

Now the hardworking locals were left to digest the latest horror to unfold on their doorsteps which follows the killing of Darren Smith for his Rolex, on March 15, 2023. Once again, the Heath Way community were worried about the impact and image of the area, but also keen to stress how people pulled together too.

Paul, 59, who has been running the Seaway Fish Bar for 35 years, learned of the attack on Tuesday afternoon. He said: "I've seen a lot of ups and downs. We know everybody up to the third or fourth generations.

Police at the scene in Heath Way -Credit:Nick Wilkinson/Birmingham Live
Police at the scene in Heath Way -Credit:Nick Wilkinson/Birmingham Live

"These things happen but they're not local, whatever happened was brought here to this site. It's worrying but the community is nice. We still love it here."

Another business owner who did not wish to be named said she felt 'deflated'. "You work so hard and then this incident which happened on Monday puts you back, the way the people see the area. The community here is nice. We've got lovely customers."

This was a view echoed by Mohammed Amin who runs Silver Scissors and his long-standing customer Joe who had popped in for a cut. Mr Amin said: "It's a good community.

"People are worried and don't want to come here, it gives a bad name to Shard End. Last year, I lost a lot of business because people didn't want to come and I'm worried that the same will happen."

Did you know we are on WhatsApp? If you would like to join our community and get breaking news updates straight to your phone - join here

Joe, 68, added: "When I left today, the wife said to me to be careful because she had read what had happened and she doesn't usually say that. I've grown up here and know everyone.

"I'm disgusted with what's happened because the community is great, nice people and if you ever need a favour, people are here for you."

Police at the shopping parade in Heath Way, Shard End
Police at the shopping parade in Heath Way, Shard End -Credit:Nick Wilkinson/Birmingham Live

Meanwhile a 74-year-old shopper who gave her name as Maggie said: "I've lived here for 40 years and it makes you feel frightened - you don't know who's behind you.

"You should feel safe when you go out, it's a shame because all the shops are friendly. It's changed."

No one has been arrested in connection with Monday's attack. Det Insp Tom Lyons, from WMP's Major Crime Unit, said: “We’re urgently trying to establish what happened. We are carrying out CCTV enquiries in the area and speaking with a number of witnesses.

“I would urge anyone with information to get in touch as soon as possible. We will have an increase of officers in the area to offer reassurance to the community.”

Anyone with information has been asked to get in touch via Live Chat on our website or by calling 101, quoting log 3655 of 27 May.