17th Jan, 2021

Call for urgent talks with police over crime rate in Shirley

SHIRLEY residents are calling for an online meeting with police and local councillors to tackle what many are saying is a growing crime problem in the area.

Burglary, theft, anti social behaviour have shot to the top of concerns for local residents who say before lockdown many feared venturing out in the evenings.

“I’m not saying Shirley is the Bronx but it clearly is a serious problem and residents want something done about it,” said Richard Sword, who first posted his concerns on social media after witnessing a group of youths on Bills Lane abusing residents.

“There’s burglary and anti-social behaviour and no one seems to be helping,” he added.

“The elderly are saying they’re scared to go out, parents won’t let their kids out and the park just seems full of gangs at night.

“I’ve lived here for 40 years and when I put my thoughts of social media I was genuinely surprised by the response with hundreds of people agreeing.

“We understand that the police have limited resources but people feel it needs a level of focus that just isn’t there at the moment.”

The deputy leader of Solihull Council, Councillor Karen Grinsell, (Con, Shirley East) herself a member of Shirley StreetWatch – currently suspended for the lockdown – said she had seen the post and would support a virtual meeting.

“Our police officers do a fantastic job but they cannot be everywhere at once so it’s wise to take precautions ourselves,” she said.

“This could be putting your lights on a timer when you’re our and using a Krooklock on your car.

“Sometimes too it’s the perception of crime so we need to see the real time data.

“However this is our community and any measures that we can put in place to make people safer should be taken.”

Coun Tim Hodgson (Green, Shirley West) also supported a meeting, adding: “There have been a number of incidents, including burglaries where thieves have been breaking in from the back, taking car keys and driving off.

“One happened in my road, so it is a worry.

“I cannot fault our police but they are acting with limited resources and a lot of these crimes are opportunistic, so people do need to take precautions.

“However people certainly want to see something happen to address this.”

West Midlands Police were unavailable for comment before we went to press.

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