Group of volunteer crime fighters recognised for services to Shirley - The Solihull Observer

Group of volunteer crime fighters recognised for services to Shirley

Solihull Editorial 28th Jun, 2018   0

A GROUP of volunteer crime fighters in Shirley, which confronted drug dealers, recovered weapons from parks and patrolled the streets have been nominated for a top award.

Shirley Street Watch have been nominated for the Outstanding Citizens Awards by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson.

The 12-strong team started their work in Shirley in January and have spent hundreds of hours tackling anti-social behaviour and reassuring the community.

In May 2018 they spent more than 100 hours confronting drug dealers, reporting drink drivers and working with other agencies in tackling the problems in their neighbourhood.

Patrols are conducted in pairs and the Shirley team work most days of the week.

The volunteers don’t just help to tackle crime, they also get involved with litter picks.

They have returned stolen trolleys to supermarkets and called on the council to fix problems such as broken bollards, fly tipping and unlocked park gates.

Volunteer Chris Smith, said: “In just six months we have seen anti-social behaviour drop considerably in Shirley.

“The drug dealers have stopped doing their trade from the car parks.

“You also no longer see the laughing gas canisters which used to litter the streets.

“As well as the crime prevention work, I’m really proud we have been able to help and support so many homeless people and find somewhere warm for them to stay.”

Members of the public have given high praise to the group for the work they do keeping the area safe.

Mr Jamieson, said: “The Street Watch team are a real asset to the community in Shirley.

“They are a fine example of a group of active citizens who want to make positive changes.

“Many of them do this on top of their careers and full time jobs in order to make a difference.

“What is all the more remarkable is just twelve months ago they didn’t know each other and now they are a highly successful force for change.”

The award ceremony takes place today (Thursday, July 5).

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