POLICE in Shirley have agreed to meet with local residents and ward councillors online to discuss the issue of crime in the town.
Last week the Solihull Observer highlighted residents’ fears that crime had got out of hand and that Shirley Park had become a no-go area.
However this was categorically denied by Inspector Angus McPherson from Solihull Police, who said: “Rumours circulating on social media that Shirley Park is a no go area because of crime is simply untrue.
“We have seen a seasonal rise in burglaries in line with the rest of the region, which tends to happen this time of year, but crime in the area remains relatively low.”
He added that both uniformed and plain-clothed patrols have been increased in the area during key times to offer reassurance and local officers were working closely with residents to increase awareness on keeping homes secure.
“We rely on members of the public for help in taking criminals off the streets,” he said.
“We’ve got some excellent working relationships with members of the community and lots of people who are really proactive in sharing our messages and advice.
“I’d like to offer my thanks to these people and encourage anyone else who is interested in working with us via schemes such as Neighbourhood Watch or Street Watch to get in touch.”
Resident Richard Sword, whose Facebook post on crime first raised the issue said he was happy to organise an online meeting between the public, police and local councillors, but disagreed with the police view of Shirley Park.
“I’d ask them to take a walk there around 10.30pm. I run quite a lot and I won’t go there,” he said.
He also called on ward councillors to publicise more widely their public engagement meetings.