MP for Northfield Richard Burden (Labour) has announced a meeting to discuss crime and policing in the Frankley Great Park ward of south west Birmingham. Neighbourhood police representatives will be in attendance, alongside the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson.
In November, a meeting chaired by Cllr Simon Morrall (Con, Frankley Great Park) saw a group of residents looking at options to hire private security as a crime deterrent in the Hollymoor and Great Park areas of the ward.
Local residents who attended that meeting said they did not feel safe and would like to see private patrols on their streets, a move which Cllr Morrall backs.
Some victims present at the November meeting expressed a dissatisfaction with the response of police to crimes like burglaries and car thefts.
Cllr Morrall said that police were not attending reported crimes in a timely manner, saying that often he turned up to speak to victims before they did.
Longbridge neighbourhood team police officers were not present at the meeting and Mr Burden said he would arrange a meeting where they could be there to discuss issues.
New meeting to discuss community safety and police budget
As well as local community safety issues, the West Midlands PCC David Jamieson will be present to discuss and hear views on the West Midlands Police Budget.
Mr Burden said: “With 258 crimes reported to the Police in the Longbridge area in November, it is understandable that our community is worried about crime. By bringing residents and local officers together, I hope this meeting can identify ways in which Police and local people can work together to combat crime, building on existing Neighbourhood Watch networks and local Police Tasking meetings to make communications as effective as possible going forward.”
However, Mr Burden highlighted that cuts to the force’s budget had had a detrimental effect on local policing. He said: “West Midlands Police has lost more than 2,000 officers and £175 million has been taken from its budget by the Government. There is no doubt in my mind that cuts as severe as these are affecting their ability both to prevent and to respond to crime as effectively as they want, and as the public have a right to expect.”
Further ‘Real-terms cut’ to budget
PCC David Jamieson and Richard Burden had called on the Home Secretary to increase Government funding for West Midlands Police by just over £42m in the coming year to allow 500 more officers to be recruited.
Mr Burden said: “However, the Home Secretary has announced an “increase” of only £15.9million. As West Midlands Police needs £25.6 million more just to stand still, however, £15.9m is a real-terms cut in government support. It means that the additional money needed to maintain current services must come from council tax payers. In the West Midlands, that would mean an extra £24 per year for each for Band D council taxpayer. At present West Midlands Police charges £128.55 for a Band D council tax payer.
“So, the Police and Crime Commissioner is now asking for your views on whether he should increase the Police element of the Council Tax in this way.”
Mr Burden said that, while this meeting was to focus on experiences of crime in the Frankley and Great Park ward, he would be liaising with other neighbourhood teams across the Northfield Constituency (Northfield, Weoley, Kings Norton) at ways to improve communication between the Police and the community.
Read more & leave your views on the PCC’s Budget Consultation 2019/2020
When: 7pm Friday 18th January
Where: Hollymoor Centre, Manor Park Grove, Northfield B31 5ER
Who: Residents / businesses / partners of Frankley Great Park ward. Not sure? Check your ward by entering your postcode