Selly Oak Police Weekly Wrap-Up 14th November 2014

Hello all and thanks for reading this feature of the I LOVE SELLY OAK website. The aim of this blog is to provide the community around Selly Oak, particularly Bournbrook with updates on policing activity in the area and encourage more of you to engage with your local police team, Guild of Students and your neighbours!

 Firstly I’d like to update you on crime in and around Bournbrook and assure you that my team and officers from Birmingham South Policing Unit are working with the University, Local Councillors, Bournbrook Community Safety Partnership and the Guild of Students to make the area a safe place to live, work and play. Burglary is an issue that the vast majority of residents I speak to raise and are rightly concerned about, the good news that i reported in the last blog continues; following on from a 62.5% reduction in September, a 27.3% reduction in October current performance shows that we have reduced burglary in November by 63.6% so far in November with just four burglaries across the whole ward and importantly only one in Bournbrook.

The context here is that just three student houses in Bournbrook have been targeted by burglars since the beginning of the academic year, this is a significant reduction but one that could change overnight. The threat of burglary remains and was highlighted over the weekend when a house on Tiverton Road was broken into and a student had her computer stolen, how did the offender get in? Quite simply the side alley gate was left wide open and unlocked and the back door of the house had also been left unlocked. PLEASE shut alley gates and lock your front and back doors when you go out and even when you’re in, it only takes a matter of seconds for an offender to try your door, enter and walk out with your personal property! The additional good news is that robbery and vehicle crime in the area are down by 20% compared to last year too!

Secondly I’d like to talk about #deepbreath, the Police supported Pubwatch campaign to raise awareness of alcohol harm and reduce alcohol related violence. The initiative is well underway now and we have a huge amount of data to crunch through already! A particular measure we are keen to impact on are the number of ‘violence with injury’ crimes associated with alcohol and the busy Bournbrook and Guild night time economy, though regular patrols during key times throughout the year alongside a strengthened working relationship with licenced venues we have already seen some reductions in this area, the #deepbreath initiative is designed to keep these levels low and hopefully see them reduce even further. After some initial negative feedback from a very small number of students in the area the feedback from venues is positive, particularly from the Guild of Students. The data from this time last year is stark; 25% of all violence with injury victims were students and alcohol was an aggravating factor, by no means is this designed to stop the community having a good time or as some have stated ‘create a police state’ in fact the opposite is true. We want to promote Selly Oak as a safe place to socialise and make it clear that if you’ve had too much to drink you put yourself at risk and are potentially more vulnerable to becoming a victim of crime. We’ll crunch the numbers and update you on this initiative and its effect here between now and the end of January 2015.

In relation to an incident reported in local news regarding a firearms incident on the 11th November I can’t go into detail regarding the investigation but I can assure you that no-one was injured and that no-one involved in the incident is connected to the Selly Oak area. Crime continues to fall and the number of victims of all crime is reducing, this is a result of a more joined up approach by public services in the area and your awareness and vigilance in reporting incidents, trusting the police to deal with these matters.

Please join us for our next live tasking meeting on Monday 24th November from 7pm at Elim Church, Exeter Road, Selly Oak or join us online by clicking on this link To ask questions online please use #asksellyoak via twitter.

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