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Press release

Police Now officer leads investigation which sees two jailed for violence in West Midlands

Police Now officer leads investigation which sees two jailed for violence in West Midlands

Thursday 25th April 2024

Detective Constable Zara Javaid, an officer on Police Now’s National Detective Programme, led a major investigation which has seen two teenagers jailed for violence in Great Barr.

The investigation was launched by West Midlands Police following an outbreak of violence on Aldridge Road on 27th September last year, when a 16-year-old boy suffered large wounds to his head and neck from a machete attack.

DC Zara Javaid was the Officer in Charge of the case, and thanks to the strength of the investigation and evidence gathered from CCTV footage and witnesses, the two 19-year-old assailants admitted their involvement.

Vacoy Farrell, of Tansley Grove Birmingham, and Rion Solomon, of Witton Lodge Road, were both sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court last week (17th April) for their involvement in the violent incident. Farrell admitted possession of a blade, violent disorder, and possession of cannabis with intent to supply, and was sentenced to four years youth detention. Solomon admitted to violent disorder was given two years.

DC Zara Javaid joined West Midlands Police in 2022 via Police Now’s National Detective Programme, which supports graduates to become outstanding frontline investigators across England and Wales. She is working in the force’s Major Crime Unit and said:

“This was a really nasty outbreak of violence involving a large number of teenagers, and it could easily have become a murder investigation.

“Too often we see the tragic consequences of using a knife. A split-second decision can destroy lives and rip apart families and communities. 

“Young people should be able to go about their daily lives freely, without fear and without the possibility that they could be attacked and potentially killed.  

“The victim sustained serious injuries as a consequence of this attack, and whilst the injuries were not fatal, it has had a lasting impact on the daily life of the victim and his family.  

“We will never know the true motive behind this awful attack, but I hope today’s sentence gives the victim and his family some comfort that justice was served and the offenders are now behind bars.

“We’re committed to working with young people, schools and youth groups to educate and divert people away from a mentality which says it’s OK to carry a knife.

“I joined West Midlands Police via Police Now’s National Detective Programme two years ago, with the ambition of leading investigations to bring offenders to justice and support victims in the community at some of the most difficult times in their lives. The training I have had through Police Now has given me a really good foundation coming into the Major Crime Unit and I hope that as I progress, I can carry on working hard to serve our communities and keep the public safe through professional and thorough investigations. I cannot thank the Police Now team enough for their guidance and support throughout the programme.”

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