Police force slammed after boasting about low crime… a week after schoolgirl, 16, was murdered on bus
A bungling police force caused outrage by proudly announced that bus crime was down in their area exactly one week after a teenage girl was brutally MURDERED on a rush-hour service.
Christina Edkins, 16, was stabbed in the chest in front of horrified commuters on the top deck of a number 9 bus in Birmingham City Centre last Thursday.
But West Midlands Police boasted on its official Twitter account that bus crime in the area had FALLEN – just hours before they charged a man with Christina’s murder.
Phillip Simelane, 22, appeared before Birmingham Crown Court yesterday morning where he was remanded in a secure mental unit.
The embarrassing gaffe posed just hours earlier outraged web users and forced red-faced cops to issue a hasty apology.
Horrified Brummies slammed the ‘insensitive’ timing of the tweet – posted exactly seven days after the tragic schoolgirl’s death.
The offending post on the ‘@WMPolice’ feed read: “Crime on buses has fallen by 65 per cent over the last five years with an average of one crime per 147,000 journeys.”
It was the first in a series of tweets intended to promote a text service and phone app for reporting anti-social behaviour on public transport.
But within minutes, members of the public rallied to voice their shock at the inappropriate posts.
Jayne Childs wrote: “Tell that to the parents of the girl murdered on the No. 9 bus in Birmingham.”
While Claire Lycett put: “I don’t think people want to be hearing about the lack of bus crimes so soon after that poor girl!”
Web user Elizajo added: “Not the best tweet 1 week after what happened, it may be down but its ferocity is escalating.”
Leojay4 wrote: “Bit insensitive following the recent event.”
Several hours later, a police spokesperson apologised for the tweet and blamed a computer error for the mistake.
They wrote: “Apologies if this tweet caused any offence, it was pre-scheduled.
“We don’t want to offend anyone after last week’s tragic events.”
Christina, a pupil at Leasowes High School, Halesowen, West Mids, was killed on the Hagley Road, Birmingham, at around 7.30 am on March 7.
Police arrested Simelane on suspicion of murder close to the scene just hours later.
Yesterday the defendant, from Walsall, West Mids, wearing a blue, white and grey hooded top, appeared in court flanked by four police officers.
He spoke only to confirm his name during a 10 minute hearing and will appear before the same court on May 31.