A police officer was head-butted during a routine operation in Birmingham yesterday evening by a man who was later found to have a loaded handgun inside his bag.

It happened at the Newtown Shopping Centre at around 5pm on Tuesday (16 February) during an intelligence-led crackdown on drug dealing in the area, in response to local concerns.

When uniformed officers asked the 19-year-old to stop outside William Hill bookmakers, he quickly jumped on his bike and cycled away.

But he was challenged by other officers, dressed in plain-clothes, who were approaching from the opposite direction.

A struggle ensued and the teenager was handcuffed on the floor.

Despite being restrained and taken to a van, he tried to get away for a second time and head-butted a sergeant in his bid to escape.

He was arrested for assaulting a police officer in the execution of their duty and a subsequent search uncovered a handgun concealed inside his bag.

When specialists from West Midlands Police’s Firearms Unit examined the weapon, they found it was loaded with four rounds of live ammunition.

The man remains in custody today, where he is being questioned on suspicion of firearms and drugs offences, as well as assaulting a police officer.

The 32-year-old officer who was injured during the arrest suffered swelling to his eye, but did not go to hospital and continued with his tour of duty.

The weapon will be forensically examined by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) in due course to see if it is linked to any offences across the region.

Chief Inspector Chris Mallett, from Birmingham Police, said: “This was an absolutely fantastic arrest of someone who is clearly a very dangerous individual.

“Anyone who walks around with a loaded hand gun in their bag poses a potentially deadly risk to everyone in society and I’m glad we’ve been able to take it off the streets.

“Gun crime is the big talking point at the moment because of the devastation it’s caused over recent months and I want the public to know we are taking robust action to end the violence.”

Chief Insp. Mallett added: “Considering the lethal weapon this man had in his bag at the time of his arrest, the police officer who was injured was lucky to have only suffered a black eye.

“None of the officers involved could have known the extent of the danger they were in at the time and events like these show the risks police face on a daily basis.”

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