Shirley community raise money to buy new bikes for teenage robbery victims - The Solihull Observer

Shirley community raise money to buy new bikes for teenage robbery victims

Solihull Editorial 7th Mar, 2018   0

THE SHIRLEY COMMUNITY pulled together to buy new bikes for two teenage robbery victims.

Jacob Winwood and Jack Chaplin, both aged 13, were allegedly approached by four older men who took their bikes in Shirley Park on February 24.

According to Jacob’s mother Gina, the boys were shaken and left devastated they had lost their beloved bicycles.

Gina and Jack’s mum Glenda were left disappointed by the police response who did not investigate till Sunday – it is understood inquiries remain on-going.

But in a display of collective solidarity, the community stepped in and raised £565 for the boys to purchase new bikes.

The Shirley Residents Crime Awareness closed Facebook group has been vocal in calling for increased safety measures to be taken in parks – particularly to protect young people.

One member, Paul Sheldon created a fundraising page to make enough money to buy replacement bikes for the boys.

He allegedly wrote on the group: “Let’s show these lads the community spirit of Shirley is not broken.”

The page accrued around £565 – something Gina and Glenda described as ‘overwhelming’.

Jacob said: “It’s so nice of people who don’t know me to help me like this, and I am so glad to have my new bike.”

Halfords store manager, Steve Allen, was praise for his generosity by the mums and the awareness group for waiving the extra £175 needed to pay for the bikes which are worth a combined £740 – including free bike locks.

Gina Whitehouse said: “I cannot believe how amazing the community of Shirley have come together to help the two boys.

“This is a random act of kindness from total strangers and it gives such hope for the future of Shirley.

“Our hearts are truly touched and being able to turn such a negative into a positive for the boys has been brilliant.”

Crimes in parks – places popular with children and families – have prompted calls for a greater police presence.

The Observer spoke to councillors about the prevalence of crime in Solihull’s parks some weeks ago.

We reported an 23 per cent rise in crime last year in Solihull.

But latest borough crime figures show levels of violent incidents in public places rose by 18 per cent from October to December.


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