These two questions are continuously speculated upon by many B31 Voices readers – each time we report a crime in the area.

Be it a crime of great shock and consequence, or what appears to be the far too familiar theft of a vehicle, they all result in people asking the same questions: Is crime on the increase? And are the police doing enough to stop it?

We recently received this post request from a reader who wishes to remain anonymous: “I myself and I’m sure a lot of people are in the south Birmingham area, are sick to death of all this car, bike and house crime by individuals who are known – and basically taking smashing thieving what they want, when they want. It’s not about snitching or grassing, it’s about as a community there seems very little police action both by West Mercia and West Midlands Police. It is getting totally out of control now both the B31 and B45 postcodes are suffering because of the theft. I’d like readers opinions on what now seems totally out of control.”

With the above opinion failing to be unique, we asked Northfield District Inspector Lee Trinder to respond:

 “Much like the rest of the country, Northfield constituency [Kings Norton, Longbridge, Northfield & Weoley wards – includes Frankley, Rednal & West Heath] has seen a rise in recorded crime. However, not only can this be attributed to the large number of new crime types reported to us daily, but there is also a greater sense of confidence from members of the public to report crime to the police.
“A direct numerical comparison of figures can therefore be very misleading, but still plays an important part in helping us understand crime trends and effectively deploy our resources to better serve you.

“Total recorded crime year to date for Northfield constituency has increased by 12.1%, however is still below the 14.2% average increase seen across the West Midlands.

“I am saddened to hear that the survey suggests ‘nothing is done about reported crime even when the culprit is known to the police’. I can assure you that nothing is further from the truth and police investigate every reported crime to the highest standard.

“Investigations however are based upon factual evidence found. If the evidence does not weigh against a suspect a reported crime will not be progressed. Analysing the evidence presented fairly is what underpins our judicial system to giving all a fair trial.

“I would like to share our recent victims of crime survey results which found that 80.2% of victims over the last 12 months were “completely”, “very” or “fairly” satisfied with the overall service provided by WMP.”

“We are very proud of this figure however understand there is always room for improvement. We cannot improve without your help and I would encourage all who respond to B31 Voices to engage positively with the police where possible.

“You can attend regular ward meetings held by teams who police your neighbourhood and directly discuss your concerns. You can also follow the ward teams on Twitter and see the brilliant work they do to keep your community safe.”

Inspector Lee Trinder
Northfield District

Statistically, reported crime in general has risen within the West Midlands, however, the increase in the Northfield district is lower than average.

As there are many factors that contribute to forming statistics, their value to the public is only that of an indication, not fact – and if we are to treat them as such, then indications show that improvements are needed in all areas across West Midlands and we can all contribute in our respective communities.

Always be vigilant, practice recommended precautions, attend tasking meetings if you can and report crimes witnessed or endured.

We all make a community, each having roles to play to make it safer and a place to be proud of.


  1. we need government to support increasing number of police force, Less bureaucracy in the police force and uk becomes less safe than 10 years ago.

  2. It’s ridiculous that police are not allowed to pursue follow our attempt to feel with in any way, young lads on mopeds with no helmets on the path and in the streets. It’s these individuals that are committing crime including pushing it kicking little off their own legal and correctly used mopeds at junctions/ lights and then ‘joy’ riding the machines from place to place where they commit offences. Knowing that police force orders prevent officers risking the youths safety by pursuing them. Thanks to those that put these criminals rights above the welfare and rights of their victims.

    Also police seem tied up to desks and paperwork, responding to an inadequate local authority who fail to intervene in families where the are the social issues that lead to young people becoming involved in crime. And why so many police officers fly desks where a civilian police employee could do the task with access to the same information is beyond most people’s reckoning.

    Police should be empowered to enforce the law and let other agencies like local authorise be the ones to excuse behaviour or ‘support’ families to prevent and deter crime in the first place.

    It’s a constant excuse to suggest more reporting hides better or ‘as good as’ performance. As austerity and job opportunity get worse alongside education outcomes that have fallen for the most vulnerable, police will have it harder as crime because an easy way out for some. And drugs are becoming wide the less police are able to deal with all communities without fear of being labeled racist when in fact they are taking a targeted approach to where the issues are.

    This isn’t a B31 problem it’s city wide and as for those that don’t vote, which is seemingly more and more of the low socioeconomic demographic in B31 and related areas, perhaps if you bothered to, which would be less effort than moaning to police later, you might not have the austerity or the causes of social breakdown and crime that police are the first to them have to respond to whilst others can recognise and not bother to deal like health and the substance misuse or mental health issues, education where these youngsters are excluded to protect the school rating and performance rather then the childs development and progress. When kids aren’t invested in, listened to it educated / cared for, they treat as they are treated. So they don’t owe society anything and they don’t care for the harm they do (the minority that go on to commit crime I mean) we should stop excluding children from education when the behaviour costs results. Because that leaves them to their own devices and teaches them they are not with it. Those lessons stay. They will commit crime not because it offends, but regardless of the offence and hurt they cause. We need to feel with social issues, stop cutting income for the poorest and make education about children again not about schools and privatising them by breaking the system and claiming it needs fixing.

    Rather then crime go up and police suggest reporting is up, let’s see the amount of arrests and charges increase proportional to this increased reporting. Let’s see the impact of policing. And maybe a new major can be more effective then the PCC in this regard. They have largely just overseen a budget spent more of the budget on them and the infrastructure for them given that they exist and therefore cost us money. And commissioned what local authorities were doing anyhow and Todd extra political later has achieved what? Give the investment back to police so we can have more of them and less of that! And that goes for the utter ignorance of this politicians at our district committee. The minutes of which they should be embarrassed by. 0 impact on anything useful from them apart from making themselves seem important and truly to score enough points from each other to claim they are better when they need to get elected again. You haven’t represented issues and it’s on your watch crime is up etc. Could you get out of the way and let services do their job. Extremely poor governance and little real effectiveness doesn’t help

    Sorry for typos but hey

  3. No sorry, it’s nothing to do with it being reported more and having an increased confidence in reporting-it’s to do with it happening more. You can’t report what doesn’t happen. In the 28 years I’ve lived in West Heath, I had never been broken into. Yet lately, I have had an attempted break in on my property, I’ve had things stolen and smashed up from my back garden, my sister had a man attempt to open the door of her car whilst at the bottom of my drive when her and my nephews were in it, we’ve had car tyres slashed in our road and surrounding roads. Three of these things happened in the last two months. So this attempt to minimise all this with data and stats is, quite frankly, rubbish. When the attempted break in happened on our property, we were told it’s potentially because we have nice cars on the drive. Well sorry, but why shouldn’t we have them?
    I haven’t got time to go to ward meetings, I’m afraid. I’m busy working to pay my ever increasing council tax. When a crime happens, I want to report it and have the police deal with it and reassure me then. Not at a meeting where their answers are all pre-prepared. I have sympathy for their pressures and admiration for the work that they do, but in this case I agree wholeheartedly with the anonymous reader and not the answers of this inspector.

  4. Police are trained to deal with any form of crime, they are not pen pushers, or nowadays computer operators. There role is to keep the citizens of Birmingham safe on the streets, in their homes etc. not to be sat behind a desk filling out forms, H &S etc. Until they get civillians in like they used to have, to deal with paperwork, then the police cannot be expected to be in two places at once.


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