Residents of New Hall and Four Oaks,
It has been an extremely busy period since I last wrote to you.
I have previously expressed my desire for the team to increase our visibility through both Social Media and physical visibility. I think at this time we are achieving part of this but more work needs to be done to be , but those of you that I have spoken with know that we are dealing with high levels of demand and it is only right that we support our colleagues with responding to those calling the Police asking for help before we do anything else. However, we have recently been trialling weekly online beat surgeries on the New Hall ward in order improve our availability to report lower level issues, meeting the team and to provide advice. This format was set up to make it convenient to the community. There has also been a monthly Cuppa with a Copper arranged in order to physically meet members of the team to discuss issues, build relationships and to receive crime prevention advice.
Those that have attended have provided some really positive feedback. However, overall attendance at these events has been low. These are not ward meetings these are drop in sessions, the events are advertised in advance, if you have nothing to raise that is not a problem by all means just stop by if nothing else just to get to know your local team.
I have been attending a number of residents meetings to talk about community concerns and we are trying to address these concerns along with our partners.
One of the biggest problems that has been raised with me is The Lanes Shopping Centre, Wylde Green. Since becoming aware of the issues at the location I have been working tirelessly in order to try and reduce them, we have issued a number of Civil Warnings and Notices, have been conducting high visibility patrols and started to work with one particular business in the centre where we co-ordinated our efforts with their loss prevention management and an individual who was causing great harm was subsequently arrested and convicted for multiple shoplifting offences receiving a custodial sentence.
There has been some media coverage around some new fencing that has been erected around a premises that was seen to be as a hub for this anti-social behaviour. This was as a result of some work by the team where they were able to evidence the anti-social behaviour and had attempted to work with the landowners but when this failed we used our civil powers to ensure that the site was more secure. It is still early days and only a small part of the puzzle to solving the problem but we have already seen some positive results.
Whilst the issues within that location will not impact upon all of you, anti-social behaviour and retail crime in our shopping areas does, as such I do want to start replicating parts of this ongoing operation elsewhere.
We are now quickly approaching Christmas, the team have been working into the early hours in order to try and prevent your vehicles and houses being targeted by criminals. We will continue to do this but we do really need your support.
If you own a keyless car please invest in a signal blocking bag or get a crook lock. With the cold mornings we seen a slight increase in the number of vehicles being stolen from driveways whilst they have been left running to de-ice. This is a seasonal issue and is not just exclusive to Sutton Coldfield. I will likely be passing this message until all cars come with heated windscreens. By not doing this will likely put potential offenders off attending the area full stop. There is no rhyme or reason to this style of offending it is mostly opportunistic, only you can prevent it.
I am still regularly briefing our Response colleagues on our burglary offences in the hope that we are in the right place at the right time. This paid dividends on Saturday evening when our response team was already patrolling an area that we had been highlighting for offences and managed to detain an offender at the time of an offence.
I did mention Christmas back in September when I first wrote to you and hope that this advice has been heeded, please make sure that you do your research if you are considering buying Electric Bikes/Scooters or other off roaders. Unless it states other wise none of these vehicles are legal to be used on the roads or parks. It is not the retailers responsibility to highlight this to you, it is your responsibility. This also needs to be considered when purchasing Drones, you are on the flight path here and as such you really need to consider which drone you buy and where it can be used. There is a significant amount of legislation around Drones and some require specific licences so please make sure that you double check before you buy them.
Thank you for your continued support and I hope that you all have a great Christmas.
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