Friday, 28 October 2011

As clocks go back, do your bit to protect against burglars

It is that time of year, when darker nights are fast approaching and West Midlands Police are encouraging residents to think about home security.

The clocks will be going back by an hour on Saturday night (29 October), and officers are asking residents to act now to help secure their home.

Simple tips include:
  • Using a timer switch for lights. These are inexpensive and mean homes are not left in darkness to alert burglars to an empty property.
  • Using door and window locks, even when someone is at home.
  • Cancelling newspapers and milk if the property is left unoccupied for a few days.
  • Keeping your shed and garage locked - your tools could be used to break into your home.
  • Neighbourhood Watch is an effective way to keep your home and community safer. You can find details of how to join or set up a scheme from the partnerships officer at your local station.
Sergeant Andy Gregory said: "Many people will now be returning home from work in the dark and often forget to leave a light on, making it obvious to a potential burglar that the property is probably unoccupied. Homeowners should consider investing in time switches, windows should always closed and locked and, where available, house alarms set.

"Traditionally the number of burglary offences rises in the winter and we want residents to think about how they can help themselves by taking a few simple measures."

For further advice about keeping your property secure, see the force's website:

The burglary initiative comes at a time when West Midlands Police is showing a large reduction in house burglary. Over the last six months there have been 2,300 fewer victims of house break-ins (down 24 per cent) compared to the same period last year.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Frosty Morning Car thefts

With the winter fast approaching and the inevitable drop in temperature, Police are issuing a warning to all car owners who start their car on a frosty morning and then go back indoors, even for a moment - Please Don't!

You leave yourselves open to the vehicle being stolen, opportunist thieves wander round looking for cars to steal. The easiest option for them is to steal a car with the keys and they know that in frosty weather, there will always be a car engine running somewhere while the car defrosts and the driver is inside the house. 

This not only causes you inconvenience but information from the AA states 'Most car insurance policies will not cover theft of your car if it has been left unlocked with the keys in the ignition.'

Leaving your car engine running while you go back indoors for any reason is a huge risk but incredibly last year a surprising number of people did it in Solihull and a number of cars were stolen as a result. There were 129 cars were stolen this way in the West Midlands with over 10 cars being stolen in Solihull whilst defrosting during last Winter.

In addition if you leave your car running on a road without proper supervision you actually commit an offence for which you could be fined or issued with a fixed penalty notice.

Our advice is that wherever possible, you store your car in a garage. If you do not have a garage, cover the windscreen with a purpose made cover, newspaper or cardboard to keep the frost off. Use a scraper or de-icer, or pour hot (not boiling) water on the windscreen.

Local Police officers will be conducting additional patrols in residential areas during cold weather, help us to frustrate would be car thieves and don't leave your car running.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Beware of Postal Scam

Please be aware of the following Postal Scam;

A card is posted through your door from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) suggesting they were unable to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact them on 0906 6611911 (a premium rate number)

DO NOT call this number, as this is a mail scam originating from Belize .

If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message you will already have been billed £315 for the phone call.

If you do receive a card with these details, then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on 020 7239 6655.

For more information, see the Crime Stoppers website:     
Crimestoppers - 0800 555 111

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Meriden police granted more powers to tackle ASB


POLICE have been granted additional powers to tackle problem youths at a known anti-social behaviour spot in Meriden.

Residents in and around Alspath Road have reported teens gathering to drink alcohol, intimidating passers-by, littering and playing loud music from vehicles.

Solihull Police has responded by successfully applying for a dispersal order which allows them to move on any groups (of two or more people) suspected of causing a nuisance and arrest anyone breaching the order’s terms.

It also allows officers to escort home any under-16s found in the restricted zone between the hours of 9pm and 6am.

Meriden Neighbourhood Police Team Sergeant Tony Hanlon, said: “We’re committed to tackling anti-social behaviour in Meriden and are working with the local community to gather evidence against those responsible.

Sergeant Tony Hanlon posting the ASB Dispersal Order
near the community centre in Meriden.

“By working closely with residents and businesses we’ve managed to successfully apply for a dispersal order that gives us the power to disperse groups responsible for anti-social behaviour.”

The dispersal order – which runs until at least November 12 – covers all areas falling within the B4104 Main Rd, Leys Lane and B4102 Fillongley Road 'triangle'.

And it comes shortly after Solihull Police secured a two-year Criminal Anti-Social Behaviour Order (CRASBO) against a known troublemaker in the area.

Michael Neary, of Fillongley Rd, Meriden, was handed the CRASBO by Magistrates last month

Photo of Michael Neary who is subject of the ban

It bans the 18-year-old from entering Alspath Road (from number 30 to Arden Close), the local Co-Op store, community centre, The Croft and the passageway which leads to Highfield.

In addition, the Meriden Neighbourhood Policing Team continues to work closely with Solihull Council and Solihull Community Housing to help improve the area and provide activities for local children and teenagers.

For a week in August (22nd-26th) officers alongside the council’s Neighbourhood Sports Team laid on free sports sessions, including basketball, football and cricket, for eight- to 14-year-olds in Balsall Common’s Willow Park.

Residents are urged to report anti-social behaviour and if they see Michael Neary within his CRASBO restricted zone to contact Solihull Police on 0345 113 5000.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Chelmsley Wood Shopping Centre Fun Day

On the 19th August 2011 a fun day took place in Chelmsley Wood shopping centre to raise money for the Shopping Centre Association.

The Fun Day was arranged by members of the Town Centre Tenants Association, which was set up by Sergeant Mark Cowl from the Chelmsley Wood Neighbourhood Police together with Barry Jones the Centre Manager to build on the excellent working relationship between retailers and their local police teams.

The Association exists to improve the environment and shopping experience for retailers, staff and vistors to Chelmsley Wood Town Centre

A number of retailers donated raffles prizes, the proceeds of which will help to fund the purchase of additional radios for the Retail Link scheme to enable retailers, Security Staff and Police communicate more easily.

Throughout the day there was a Disco in the centre of the Shopping Malls with DJ Paul “ The Prisoner “ Chambers, who is one of the town centre cleaning staff. The disco attracted many members of the public to dance with “ Woody the Owl “ the town centre mascot who’s time was donated by Albermarle and Bond pawn brokers.

The Incredible Hulk also made an appearances on the day played by centre cleaner Martin Thompson in between his regular duties of keeping the centre clean.

Other attractions in the centre included a Bouncy Castle and some 'Stocks' where willing victims had wet sponges thrown at them for a price. Some of the more popular victims included Sergeant Mark Cowl;  the centre manager Barrie Jones and PC Dave Jephcott. 

Sgt Cowl said “it is fantastic to see Chelmsley Wood residents turn out in force to support an event to improve their local shopping centre”

The day raised over £300 toward the cost of the Retail Link radios, which will provide a better and safer environment for shoppers and staff

If you want to get in touch with your local Police team visit Solihull Police or phone 0345 113 5000

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Disorder in Birmingham and Solihull Part 2

I thought it would be helpful to update people where we are at in Solihull. As I write now 10.30am on Thursday 11th August 2011, we have not had any disorder or crimes related to the issues happening in Birmingham and other parts of the country for over 48 hours. In fact the minor disorder we experienced was nothing like other areas have seen and was quickly dealt with by our local police officers. That said there has been plenty of rumour and speculation circulating through all kinds of media; usually third or fourth hand that something is likely to or has actually happened. None has proven to be true.

This does not mean we are complacent, I am meeting with colleagues and partners on a daily basis to reflect on what has happened in the last 24 hours and whether our plans are right for the next 24. My focus over the last few days has been around reassurance for people who live and work in the Meriden Constituency area in Solihull.

I have placed my staff in areas that see the most pedestrian traffic - shopping locations such as Chelmsley Wood town centre, Chester Road, Marston Green, Kingshurst and Smiths Wood and we are also paying particular attention to transport hubs.

This is not because we believe there is any danger but that these are the places we can interact with significant numbers of people. I also authorised some additional police powers for my staff, enabling them to search anyone they believed was likely to be involved in disorder or criminality. Everyone stopped under those powers will receive a visit from the Police so they understand the behaviour we expect in Solihull.

I have asked my staff today to go about their normal business this morning but later this afternoon we will be holding a number of street briefings so that we can take questions from you and pass out the latest information we have.

Solihull Borough remains a safe place to visit, work or live in, the problems experienced elsewhere have not appeared here and the actions we have taken through highly visible and robust policing has sent a message to any potential trouble makers - 'You're not welcome here!'

Finally as an appeal, can I ask that you go about your normal business as you ordinarily would. Please do not listen to gossip or rumour especially on social media such as twitter or Facebook - for the facts visit our website Solihull Police or follow reliable sources on twitter such as me at InspWestMidsPol or colleagues on DIWestMidsPol or SolihullCouncil.

If you have any information on the recent disorders, you should call West Midlands Police on 0800 096 0095, or 0207 158 0125 and quote Operation View. In an emergency always call 999.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Recent Disorder in Birmingham/Solihull

Following last night’s disorder in Birmingham, and to a lesser extent in Solihull, West Midlands Police are actively working with our communities and partners to ensure the safety of our communities.

We appreciate these scenes and incidents will cause concern but we can reassure you that we are monitoring all activity and have comprehensive policing plans in place for Solihull.

We have additional police patrols on the street, and trained public order teams on standby, in order to protect members of the public, homes and retail premises.

We are confident we can provide an effective and proportionate policing response to any given situation and remain fully committed to supporting and protecting our communities.

West Midlands Police will not tolerate violent behaviour and will arrest any people who commit acts of violence or criminality. Offenders can expect to be put before the courts and punished appropriately.

Should there be any incidents of disorder I would ask members of the public to stay calm, remain at home, and give police officers the space they need to monitor and contain any issues that arise.

We would appreciate your help in this respect and encourage you to spread the message amongst your community.

We remain concerned that young people are being drawn into unlawful activity and encourage families and communities to ensure their young people are safely at home during this period.

Anybody with information relating to the disorder is urged to call West Midlands Police on 0345 113 5000 and quote Operation View.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Operation Serve and Protect II

Robbery is a terrifying crime which leaves victims with lasting fears. 

That is why the public tell us time and time again that we should do all that we can to reduce this type of crime. Your local officers have been targeting known offenders every day ensuring that they know we are looking at them. As a result, robbery in Solihull is at a really low level of reporting; we have been increasing our patrols in parks and at transport hubs to ensure maximum visibility and feelings of reassurance.

In order to sustain this downward trend operation Serve & Protect II will add even more focus on those small number of offenders who are causing harm to the communituy. We discuss who we should visit every morning at our morning meeting and staff from our 24/7 response, Offender Management team or the local Neighbourhood Team will visit them.

Over the past seven days, there have been 6 offences of robbery recorded in Solihull which is a reduction on this time last year

Help for victims can be found at VictimSupport

You can keep up to date with Serve and Protect’s progress by keeping an eye out for the operation’s #serveprotectwmp hashtag on Twitter and also by taking the occasional peak at the Serve and Protect blog.

Finally it is you the public we rely on to give us information about who is committing these crimes or where the property is being sold on to. If you have any information you can contact us on 0345 113 5000 or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

It is your neighbourhood, don't let them get away with it.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Burglary Arrests in Balsall Common

In the early hours of Saturday 9th July three burglars were disturbed by the occupier breaking into a house in Balsall Common. The three tried to steal the owners car but left empty handed in a VW Golf. Police attended the location at managed to pick up the Golf on the Kenilworth Road; the vehicle drove off at high speed before crashing into a house in Hampton-in-Arden.

The Golf caused substantial damage to the house but thankfully the occupants were fine and police quickly surrounded the area and commenced a search with a police dog and using th police helicopter. All three burglars were arrested, two had sustained serious injuries as a result of the crash.

The property from the burglary in Balsall Common was recovered and the Golf turned out to be stolen from Stratford upon Avon and was on false plates.

Good police work by the team led to these arrests

Rumours of Abduction

There have been some messages circulating recently concerning alleged “attempted abductions” of children near schools in Dorridge.

Firstly, can I reassure you that no children have been abducted, injured, grabbed by any member of the public, or forced into vehicles.

We are aware of three suspicious incidents over the last fortnight – the latest being in
Station Road
on Wednesday June 29 – where a man in a car has attempted to engage schoolchildren in conversation.

Thanks to the swift action of a parent, who noted down the car’s registration number, Solihull Police have now traced a man in connection with the incident and are speaking to him about his conduct.
We are currently establishing whether a criminal offence has occurred; if we believe that to be the case he will be arrested and interviewed.

As always, parents are encouraged to ask their children to remain vigilant and to reinforce the age-old message of never talking to strangers.

Any suspicious behaviour by individuals, especially around school premises, should be reported to the school and/or the police. Solihull Police can be contacted on 0345 113 5000 or 999 in an emergency.

Police officers will continue to maintain a visible presence in the area to reassure schoolchildren.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Volunteers Continue To Fight Crime

Residents in Balsall Common can celebrate knowing their local crime fighters are able to continue helping keep them safe.

The Balsall Common Crime Prevention Group, which was set-up three years ago by local volunteers, has received £500 from the West Midlands Police Property Act Fund to help them continue carrying out crime prevention activities across Balsall Common, Hampton-in-Arden and Meriden.
As well as the group of volunteers assisting in the running of the police shop in Balsall Common, Monday to Saturday from 11am to 12.30pm on a rota basis, the group also promotes and helps local residents set-up Neighbourhood Watch schemes. Additionally they organise meetings for local people and businesses to discuss issues and concerns affecting the community.

In the photo: Sergeant Tony Hanlon with Cedric Lea. In the background; volunteers of the Balsall Common Crime Prevention Group)
Sergeant Tony Hanlon, of the Meriden and Bickenhill neighbourhood policing team said: "We are very pleased to be able to support the hard work of the Balsall Common Crime Prevention Group. Their commitment to reducing crime and keeping people safe is recognised very much by the Meriden and Bickenhill neighbourhood policing team as well as by local residents and shopkeepers."
The money received from the Police Property Act Fund will help fund crime prevention initiatives, crime prevention articles in local magazines and also the cost of room hire for meetings.

Cedric Lea, one of the main organisers of the Balsall Common Crime Prevention Group said: "The Balsall Common Crime Prevention Group has previously never received any kind of funding. This money will enable us to buy security devices when needed, such as window and shed locks that will help keep the vulnerable members in our community safe."
"As well as running crime prevention initiatives, a total of 30 volunteers within the group take it in turn to man the police shop that enables local people to voice matters of concern such as anti-social behaviour and suspicious vehicles."
The Police Property Act Fund is as a result of the sale of property, which has been in the possession of the police for more than 12 months, including items seized from criminals where the original owner cannot be traced.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Meriden Sector Community Identified Priorities - What are They?

As we have now moved into our new way of working at Solihull, the dedicated neighbourhood teams are really focusing on what our communities are saying is important.

If it is an issue that the team can deal with themselves, they will resolve it as quickly as they can and feedback to the community that raised the issue.

Where it is something that takes a little longer and requires help from our partners and even the community themselves then we will raise it as a priority and take it to a multi-agency local meeting which meets once a month. At the meeting a plan can be put together involving all the agencies including how long we think it will take to resolve. If it helps, a concerned member of the community can attend the start of the meeting to explain how the priority is impacting on them and their community. It is vital that we maintain contact with the affected community and let them know how we are progressing; we will also keep our websites updated with progress.

So how can you help? Please just tell us about the issues that are bothering you - it is vital that we understand what they are and how they are impacting on you.

Visit our website and check out when our next meeting is in your area or contact your local neighbourhood team.

Our current priorities identified by you are;

  • Blythe - Anti-social behaviour and damage in Shelley Farm
  • Smithswood - Anti-social behaviour in Burtons Park Road
  • Marston Green - Anti-social behavior and theft in Willow Way
  • Kingshurst & Fordbridge - Anti-social behaviour and drugs in Bosworth Drive
  • Chelmsley Wood - Anti-social behaviour in Raglan Way
  • Bickenhill & Meriden - Anti-social behaviour in Alspath Road.

Contact the team if you think there is an issue we are missing.

Finally if you have any thoughts on the best way for us to meet and talk with you I am keen to hear from you

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Big Society?

A lot is said about Big Society and how there is a real need to get people involved in their communities....

I can tell you from my experience there already are a lot of people involved and doing a very good job!! I had the privilege of meeting John from Dorridge earlier this week; he had written to my Chief Superintendent to ask if he could push an idea he's had for a few years - joining up Neighbourhood Watch Schemes and Environmental Champions. John is both and has made a great success of involving his neighbours in the NHW scheme and cleaning up a local pond through the use of volunteers. It is no exaggeration to say that he is rightly proud of the difference he has made to his local community.

Then there are the Balsall Common Volunteers who originally started off as a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme but around three years ago took over the running of the Police Shop in Balsall Common. Without their help there wouldn't be a Police Shop that residents and visitors to Balsall Common could use to report issues that require police attention. The shop is open and staffed by local people who freely give up their time to make a difference.

Today I attended the North Solihull Community and Volunteer Association and sat and spoke with around 20 people from different volunteer organisations in the North of Solihull. Each was there because they wanted to give something back to their community.

Volunteering is very much alive in Solihull and will be celebrated on the 7th June as part of National Volunteer Week.

It makes me proud and realise what a privilege it is to work with and for the good people of Solihull.

If you want further information on Volunteer week please get in touch.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Drugs Raid in Kingshurst


SOLIHULL Police raided a house in Kingshurst this weekend - seizing 25 cannabis plants following a tip-off from the public.

Members of the public told police they suspected cannabis was being grown at an address on Oakthorpe Drive, Kingshurst and that the address was guarded by two dogs.

Police raided the house on Saturday, 7 May with help from the dog team who were able to subdue two rottweilers.  Police found that a bedroom in the house was filled with 25 mature cannabis plants.  The plants were seized and destroyed.

Police also found that the electricity meter box had been tampered with so as to steal electricity to feed the cannabis cultivation system.  The electricity board had to be called to make the meter safe.

The owner of the house, a 29 year old man, was arrested on suspicion of cultivation of cannabis and abstraction of electricity. He is currently on police bail pending further enquiries

Acting Sergeant Tom Jones from the Kingshurst and Fordbridge team said: “We always act on information passed to us from the public.  In this case a tip-off from the public has resulted in the successful closure of a cannabis factory.  We will continue to stamp out drug cultivation across Solihull to make the borough a safer place to live.  If anyone has concerns about cannabis cultivation I would urge them to call us in the knowledge that where we can act we do.”

If you have concerns about drug production or sales in your community please call your neighbourhood team on 0345 133 5000.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Deaths in Northampton - Police Appeal

Following the terrible murder of the family of Pioneer Close, Wootton, Northampton over the bank holiday weekend, we are appealing to local and national communities for any information which may help us understand the circumstances of their deaths. 

We strongly believe that the family are the Ding family who reside at that property, who were 46 year old father Jifing Ding (known locally as Jeff), 47 year old mother Ge Chui (Helen), 18 year old daughter Xing Ding (Nancy) and 12 year old daughter Alice Ding.

Police urgently need to trace a Vauxhall Corsa car registration BG60 PMO.  This is a silver five door model. It was believed to be last at the address on Friday the 29th April.   The car was hired to the family, but is not at the address and its whereabouts are currently unknown.

We are also looking for 52 year old Anxiang Du, a businessman from the West Midlands area who has business dealings with the family.  Mr Du is described as 5ft 9ins tall and of slim build. He is believed to live in Coventry and work in Birmingham.  He was last seen wearing a white baseball cap, brown waist length coat, grey trousers, a blue woollen top, black leather shoes and carrying a rucksack.  Mr Du was seen arriving at Northampton train station at approx. 12.35pm on Friday 29th April.

The Silver Corsa may be with Mr Du and we would ask members of the public to neither approach the vehicle nor Mr Du, but to report the sighting immediately to the police on 999 at any time.

Please get in touch with any relevant information on our incident lines 0800 096 1011 or 0207 158 0126 between the hours of 8am and midnight or from midnight to 8am on 03000 111 222

Alternatively please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, where information can be provided anonymously.

Anxiang Du - Sought by Police

Monday, 2 May 2011

Tales from a Football Match

Saturday 30th April 2011 - the day I returned to policing football matches. It is something like 12 years since I last went to a Premier League football match in any capacity other than as a spectator. A decision not of my own choosing but down to an injury sustained when rammed by a stolen car in my traffic days.

Nonetheless, having recently re-qualified as a Public Order Officer; known colloquially as riot training I was determined to get back into the fold as quickly as possible. The first game I was able to volunteer for was the local Brummy derby between West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa. Whilst not the fiercest of rivals; Wolverhampton Wanderers and Birmingham City respectively hold that position; there was still a lot of 'local' pride in this for both clubs to add a little spice to an already competitive fixture.

Times have changed in policing football matches; gone is the wearing of simple street uniform and short briefings; now each officer is required to wear their public order protection with a normal street headgear. A sad but accurate reflection on the modern game and its sometimes violent nature. 

I arrived at Chelmsley Wood, my role was to be a PSU Commander, which basically means I was in charge of three Police vans; 21 constables and 3 sergeants under the call-sign Yankee Mike 173. The vans were made up of two from Solihull and one from Sutton Coldfield, the latter would meet us at the ground. First concern of the day - a number of my staff had gone on mutual aid to Bristol the night before so weren't available; fortunately a kindly sergeant on night duty had arranged replacements so we were able to set off in time for the briefing at the Hawthorns; the name of the ground.

It's been several years since I attended the club I supported as a youth - I was born within walking distance of the ground!! Things have changed and after a very professional briefing on the current intelligence and the match commanders preferred style of policing - friendly but positive; one of the bronze commanders gave me a tour of my postings. I later found out he is the husband of @LLuncoolJ on Twitter; which shows you never know who you are talking (or tweeting) to.

For Phase 1 we stood out on the Birmingham Road, a visible and hopefully reassuring presence for both sets of fans; gladly directing the fans to the right part of the ground. I saw three or four people I knew; some old friends too.

Suddenly there was a spot of bother at the turnstiles so I directed one of my vans there to help other officers; it turned out to be a bit of 'handbagging' - no disorder. Then we had a report of 50 rowdy Villa fans making their way to the ground and I directed a second van to meet and direct them to the visitors entrance; they were loud but well behaved.

The whistle went and the game was on; we were itching to get into the ground but it took fifteen minutes before we were released to our next posting, the Smethwick End between the two sets of fans. As we entered the ground; our postings were changed and I again had to split up my three vans into different parts of the ground; one going to the vomitories - an expression I'd never heard before but found out is the gap in the stands. No sooner had we entered than a steward told us about a fan who had shouted racist abuse at another fan. We quickly entered the crowd and arrested him. The ground has its own custody block before detainees are taken away to a local police station. Two officers escorted him to the 'block'; his arrest caused quite a stir in the crowd and loads of fans came to his defence saying he hadn't been racist. We gave all their details to the investigating officers for the subsequent enquiry.

I saw the manager of my local Costa working in the ground, not sure what as but he definitely didn't recognise me in my uniform, people seldom do! I had a good chat to several of the stewards; one told me that a WBA steward had been caught wearing a Villa badge - not good he said! 

I put one of my vans under a screen as directed; in case of flash disorder - the chanting between the fans was anything but good natured but I didn't see any disorder thankfully - 99% of the people there want to enjoy the game!!

My attention was drawn to some trouble near to one of the executive boxes; Villa fans were in it and exchanging pleasantries with the surrounding Baggies fans; the stewards sorted that one out, then a man was spotted drinking beer in the stands; this is against the law and so he was arrested; he'd obviously ignored the many signs telling him it wasn't allowed.

We swapped postings with another PSU and were then released to the outside Ground Commander for our final postings; Halfords Lane as far as the train/Metro station. This is a dual station for light and heavy rail and where both sets of fans end up trying to get home - an obvious flash point.

The final result was 2-1 to the Albion, I'm not sure it was entirely expected but as you can imagine the home fans were jubilant; so was I but far too professional to show it...... One of the Albion fans came up to me and shouted tell Mr Portman we won; this I admit confused me....  I am Mr Portman I said to him. He then looked confused until we both worked out that the local police football liaison officer is PC Portman and a Villa fan apparently; I promised to pass on the message.

We finally got the message we were waiting for from the Commander, 'is there any reason I cannot stand you down?' 

No, I said and thanked all my staff for their professionalism and promised to sign up any overtime incurred by them. Four and a half hours stood on my feet, my legs felt as if I had run a race.

And so my first game for 12 years was over and you know what; I really enjoyed it. I had fully intended to tweet all the way through but I was reminded of police rules that say mobile phones should not be used in public and on reflection it's probably right. I'm not sure the public would look kindly at an officer 'texting' in full uniform at the match; they're not going to know I'm tweeting and even if they did, would they understand?

I'm looking forward to the next football match I can volunteer for...

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Drug raids in SmithsWood

One of my teams working out of Chelmsley Wood Police Station have just finished a sustained period of law enforcement activity against drug dealers in the north of Solihull Borough.

The Smithswood Neighbourhood team under the guise of Operation Gardener a part of the force wide Operation Serve and Protect. The operation was possible thanks to the large amount of community intelligence the public gave to us.

Operation Gardener was implemented in Smithswood on 18th of January this year and concluded this week. The aim was to combat the production, sale and misuse of drugs as this had been highlighted by the community in the many meetings we held with them. We also believed that the drug users were committing other crimes to fund their habits, particularly shoplifting in the local Town centre and other property crimes such as breaking into cars.

As a result of this operation we executed 28 warrants and on 26 occasions we used a forced entry to secure the evidence. We made 18 arrests, from which 5 people were charged with possession of class B drugs , 3 were charged with possession with intent to supply class B drugs, & 5 were charged with production of class B drugs. We also issued nearly £500 worth of penalty notices to locals in possession of small amounts of cannabis.

A drug offender led away to answer for his actions
In addition we recovered a taser for which we charged the occupier with possession of offensive weapon; we seized 3 dangerous dogs.

This period of enforcement was only made possible by community members coming forward with information about criminals in their area!

An example of a typical 'cannabis factory' we uncovered
This is a clear message from the law abiding citizens of Solihull that drugs and drug dealers will not be tolerated in their area.

Anyone with information on drug dealers should call us on 0345 113 5000 and we will act on your information!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Changes to Policing in Solihull

Neighbourhood Policing in Meriden Constituency from June 2011

From the 1st June 2011, Solihull Police is undergoing a re-structure designed to enhance the service that our communities receive. The re-structure is being conducted against a background of having to make cost-savings but the aim of Solihull Police is to improve public confidence in us by serving local communities and protecting them from harm. Success means fewer victims of crime and a professional service appropriate to the needs of the individual, which resolves matters to the satisfaction of the caller/victim/member of the public and where their experience is a helpful and positive one.
Neighbourhood policing will be divided into two elements;

1.      Dedicated neighbourhood teams and
2.      Community Action Teams.

Dedicated teams are ward based as they are at present, whilst the Community Action Team will be based at Chelmsley Wood Police Station but will operate on a Borough wide basis. The dedicated teams remain located at their current police stations i.e. Chelmsley Wood; Balsall Common office; NEC and Shirley.

Some ward teams have been merged to provide better support and coverage.

What will they do? Dedicated Neighbourhood Teams

Neighbourhood teams will be dedicated to community engagement in a way that suits the community – this may be meetings, surgeries or being at a place where people are e.g. schools. ASDA etc.

From those conversations; the teams will meet with partners and agree priorities for the forthcoming month and adopt a recognised problem solving approach. We will also undertake the management of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) and receive and resolve referrals to the neighbourhood from colleagues.

Community Action Team

A new neighbourhood team to provide support the dedicated to neighbourhood teams to address the priorities highlighted by our communities. They will also provide staff to cover force abstractions – such as Football matches or marches. This will mean that the dedicated teams no longer lose staff to police other areas in the West Midlands.

What else is happening?

24/7 policing will continue to respond to calls for service from the public; the main difference will be that where the call does not require an immediate attendance, we will make an appointment to see you at a time that suits your needs. We will be introducing smart technology to help us track officers locations; meaning we can make better use of our resources.

The Force traffic department will continue to be based at Chelmsley Wood police station meaning we have greater access to their services.

If you have any questions please contact your local police neighbourhood team on 0345 113 5000 or you can follow me on Twitter at @InspWestMidsPol

Monday, 4 April 2011

Your Area

Please use the map below to view the area that the Solihull Local Policing Unit covers. The LPU is broken down into a number of neighbourhoods, click on an area of the highlighted map to see which neighbourhood is located at that point:

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