A man has been remanded in custody on theft, fraud and begging charges relating to a string of offences which left some South West Birmingham residents afraid to answer their doors over recent weeks.
A large number of people posted on our Facebook page throughout January, complaining of a man knocking on doors – including those of elderly and vulnerable residents – and asking for money in and around the Bartley Green, Weoley and Shenley areas, often late at night.
After many called police, a local man, in his thirties, was arrested on 19th January and released on bail, pending an identification parade.
However, local residents were again reporting incidents to B31 Voices that same day and encouraged to report to 101 and the Bartley Green Neighbourhood Police team, if they had not already.
(1) Officers have arrested a male for sexual assault and begging today. Currently in custody awaiting medical assessment and interview.
— Bartley Green Police (@Bartleypolice) January 31, 2017
With continuous reports of similar incidents, the Bartley Green team again arrested the man on Tuesday 31st January and have spent the last two days working hard gathering evidence to ask the Crown Prosecution Service to remand the man in custody.
This evening (Wednesday 1st February) the CPS remanded the man in custody on seven charges ranging from begging, theft and fraud. He will appear before magistrates tomorrow.
Sgt David Cotter said: “Hard work by local Bartley Ward officers has paid off. This is a good example of police and community working together to fight crime.”
Thanks to all who reported and to Sgt Cotter and his team for their hard work.
UPDATE 8th February 2017:
PC Laura Burke from the Bartley Green Neighbourhood Police Team, said: “A man was arrested on 31 January from his home address on suspicion of trying to trick money out of elderly residents. It’s alleged he’s been knocking doors and using a variety of stories − including claims he needed money for a sick relative − to convince people to hand over cash.
“Paul Page, a 30-year-old from Longfield Road in Northfield, was later charged with five counts of fraud, one count of begging and one shop theft. He has been remanded in custody and is next due to appear in court on Thursday (9 Feb).
“We would always advise caution when answering the door to strangers: use a door chain if you have one, never let strangers into your home, and never part with money on the doorstep. If you are worried about the person’s motives then call police on 999.”