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
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.