MP to host meeting on crime in Frankley Great Park area with police and PCC

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Richard Burden MP (Birmingham Northfield, Lab)

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. 

Private security?

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.

Police response

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

Meeting details: 

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

10 COMMENTS

  1. It’s pleasing that the concerns of residents of Frankley and Great Park about policing are to be listened to (though not necessarily heard) by the local member of Parliament and the West Midlands Police Commissioner but one can not help but feel that this meeting is to take place only because the ward has been fortunate enough to have elected a dynamic councillor – Simon Morrall – who has listened to local peoples’ worries and sought to find ways to help them.
    It is not unreasonable to believe that if Mr Burden had not been concerned about Labour’s poor showing in our area in the last council elections, the realisation that Labour councillors are not performing satisfactorily and given these facts the possibility that Northfield Constituencty will finally vote Conservative at the next election, he would not have woken up from his 25 year-long sleep and felt the urgent need to call this meeting to show that he’s as concerned about what’s happening in south-west Birmingham as much as he is about what’s happening in Palestine.
    I’m sure local residents will be bemused to find out just who is this Police Commissioner and to learn what he’s done and what he intends to do for south-west Birmingham and I’m sure he’ll be interested to know that we actually exist.

  2. Simon who? He’s not been seen for months, and his last comment on the subject was that, and I quote’ there have been no cutbacks in the police’. He actually blamed Jack Straw for the current problems, despite him going 12 years ago.

  3. Given today’s frightening video of men with machetes in Pamela Road perhaps Mr Burden and his friend the Police Commissioner could hold a meeting for the rest of the people in Northfield so we can hear their excuses of how things seem to have got so bad. O yes – no money – but the Police Commissioner managed to find £33 million to spend on smartening up his headquarters. That £33 million would have paid for a lot of policemen in this area.

  4. It also makes me wonder how the victims in this case, but also generally, are supposed to defend themselves against armed criminals?

    In most cases you just have to stand by and let them get on with it because you just don’t know their mindset. But even doing nothing won’t necessarily mean they won’t attack you. The law says you can use sufficient force, but what does that mean when you’re up against 3 men carrying knives and/or machetes.

    I don’t know what the answer is, but it really is a scary thought that burglars just don’t care about you, your home or anyone else – they will get whatever they want from you at whatever cost.

  5. Party political points scoring will not help; some analysis might:
    1. The merging of the Crime Commissioner’s office with that of the Elected Mayor will resolve nothing: what would help would be the total abolition of this post which has in fact overseen a dramatic rise in crime rates locally. PCC’s as Graham has pointed out, consume vast amounts of public money (they are currently advertising for Business Development Officers – why?) but remember that this role was created by the Conservative government to ration scarcity and represents yet a further expansion of the political class.
    2. We should examine why this area is deteriorating and why it attracts criminal activity: criminal enforcement is the role not only of the police but of the Council, who are required (by law) to enforce a huge range of offences which affect our area, but choose not to do so. This is unrelated to alleged austerity and could be remedied by our elected Councillors joining together and reinstating the rule of law locally with a zero tolerance strategy.

    • How is it not related to austerity ? with cuts to schools,youth services,cuts to probation services, to prison’s (as well as useless Graylings reforms) and cuts to community policing and police numbers. then throw on top of that cut’s to welfare to the poorest community’s and then we’re surprised these types of opportunist street crimes are on the rise.

  6. D: councils have specific legal duties to protect the citizens from harm for housing, building control and planning cases (although they would try to persuade you otherwise) and can make charges to fund any enforcement action, which can be £300-£600 per case. Properly done, this can fund additional staff and even make a profit.

    Austerity is therefore not the only explanation for area decline: part of the problem is the Enforcement Concordat which is a Blairite policy adopted by the Council some years ago, to ‘discourage’ such enforcement, particularly against businesses.

    Some of us believe this policy can be changed and we have invited Councillor Jaffar, BCC Cabinet Member, to the next Northfield Ward meeting, as a first step. You are welcome to attend.

    • enforcement action against who? Maybe you can give an example how you see the changes you propose would work in practice without the police officers to enforce it. what offences are you thinking about ? i guess your not talking burglaries,car thefts,criminal damage and mugging etc

      Your right that austerity isn’t the only explanation but it’s certainly more of a explanation than your ‘alleged austerity’ comment affords it though,and definitely more than the Enforcement Concordat that does very little for prevention of crime.

  7. D: enforcement against the site owner of the King George V pub, for a start, the NWGC club house, litter accumulations on the Hollymoor site plus numerous tree branches and foliage overhanging pavements everywhere – still a criminal offence, as far as I now, which should be enforced automatically by BCC (not the police).

    The main problem is that the BCC elite concentrates on ‘events’ like the 2022 Games and has forgotten about the condition of areas such as B31. We need to develop a zero tolerance policy to prevent further deterioration.

    • Gerald You might be right about BCC and commonwealth games but that’s a totally different issue,nothing to do with dealing with crime and the real anti social problems of burglaries,car thefts,criminal damage and muggings in the area and the things that make victims and residents feel unsafe.

      It feels like your deflecting away from the causes and solutions of those real problems whilst expecting BCC to take more non criminal people to court to make up the shortfall where the Conservative austerity programme has removed previously running service’s.

      i wouldn’t call those things you class as criminal,criminal. I’d class them as civil offence’s. As far as i know,correct me if i’m wrong,but the owner of the king George pub hasn’t committed any offence under common law (where the laws are set by precedent and a judge and/or jury) that he could be arrested and put on trial for,,(ie the queen’s on the court documents V’s the defendant).,

      your example is really a civil law matter? where private individuals, councils,company’ etc would be the names on the court document V’s the defendant in a magistrates court and can only administer judgements and fines on statute laws.(laws written and changed by whim of government) unless of course, there was enough evidence he’d committed an indictable offence,in which case they would then send it up to crown court.

      i can only speak for myself Gerald,but i find cuts to schools,youth services and how many police & PCSO’s jobs have been cut far more concerning than how many tree branches and foliage that haven’t been.

      If you want to raise revenue through fines rather than taxes that’s fine, we need to be honest about it though,and it has absolutely nothing to do with reducing crime. Zero tolerance as you’ve outlined it, is a really expensive and inefficient way of NOT getting things done and akin to north Korea or Iran where every offence is a criminal offence because the state says so.

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