Updated: Mar 20, 2019
A STOURBRIDGE family’s fight for justice following the tragic death of footballer Ryan Passey was highlighted to the Home Secretary when he visited the town on Friday.
From Stourbridge News. Original Report by Bev Holder (Chief Reporter).
Home Secretary Sajid Javid went for a walkabout in Stourbridge which included a trip through the Ryemarket shopping centre where the large unit formerly occupied by Chicago’s has lain empty since the pub chain pulled out a few months after Mr Passey was fatally stabbed at the former nightspot in August 2017.
The family of the tragic 24-year-old have asked for a meeting with Mr Javid to talk about the national problem of knife crime and to highlight their fight for justice which began after Kobe Murray from Dudley was acquitted of the killing despite having admitted he "stabbed out" with a knife during a scuffle in the busy club.
Margot James’s office said the Home Secretary extended his thoughts to heartbroken friends and relatives as he was shown the area outside the former Chicago’s bar which has become something of a shrine to Mr Passey - a popular self-employed window cleaner from Quarry Bank.
Ms James’s office said the MP now plans to write to Mr Javid, whose constituency is neighbouring Bromsgrove, requesting a meeting with the family to discuss their campaign and the wider problem of knife crime.
"I am working closely with the Justice for Ryan campaign to facilitate meetings with ministers in Parliament, including the Home Secretary." - Margot James MP
She added: “I am working closely with the Justice for Ryan campaign to facilitate meetings with ministers in Parliament, including the Home Secretary.”
Jason Connon, of the Justice for Ryan group, said: “I would have loved to have five minutes with him."
Following Mr Javid’s visit on Friday (March 8) a knife arch was taken around four Stourbridge bars on Saturday evening (March 9) in a bid to crack down on knife crime.
Ms James said: “I understand why people here are worried about knife crime and police numbers and I share their concerns."
She said she was "glad" the Home Secretary had visited the town and added: "We discussed how we can work collaboratively to reduce violent crime in the area, following on from our work together on the UK’s Serious Violence Taskforce."
She said extra cash has been pledged for 2019/20 - almost £1billion - and added that she was pleased to hear West Midlands Police plans to recruit 200 extra officers during the next two years.