Fire Service respond to student house-fire caused by Hanukkah candles

West Midlands Fire Service are advising students to be careful with candles, especially during the Hanukkah period following a house-fire at a student halls of residence in Edgbaston.  Students left the candles unattended and despite the damage, fortunately no one was injured.  

Local fire officers are asking students to be careful when using candles and there are some useful tips and advice available at http://www.wmfs.net/content/candle-safety.  You can also follow the Bournbrook Fire Station Twitter feed for news and updates – https://twitter.com/Bournbrookfire (and link on Love Selly Oak Home Page).

 

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Second man arrested in connection to fatal stabbing in Selly Oak

DETECTIVES investigating the fatal stabbing of a teenager outside a social club in Selly Oak on Friday night have this afternoon (Sunday 23 September) arrested a second man on suspicion of murder.

The 18-year-old from Edgbaston handed himself in at Bloxwich Police Station at 2.20pm today….to read the full press release and other news items connected to this incident click here.

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Property marking initiative uses liquid DNA to tackle student burglary

LiquidDNAAT the start of the new university term, officers are using a new initiative to tackle student burglary using a liquid DNA that marks valuables in student houses around Selly Oak.

The initiative will start during Freshers’ Week and will see the liquid DNA distributed across multi-occupancy student houses in Selly Oak. Officers will also be visiting houses in the area to offer crime prevention advice.

The liquid DNA is a substance marked on valuable items such as laptops, iPads and iPhones with a unique barcode that when scanned relates to a corresponding record on a database.

Forensic

Sergeant Suraya Latif said: “Every year student accommodation, particularly student houses in the Selly Oak area are targeted by burglars.

Selly Oak’s multi-occupancy student houses are often targeted by burglars. It is hoped that the use of the liquid DNA will deter opportunists and help recover stolen items and return them to their rightful owners.

Additional crime prevention advice and reassurance messages will be included in joint ‘all out days’ where officers, The Guild of Students and the fire service all come together to raise awareness among students to help prevent them becoming victims of crime.

“Before the start of the term, we put plans together that tackle this problem to ensure students stay safe and do not become easy targets.

“Through the use of the liquid DNA on top of our year on year student crime prevention advice, we hope that this will help reduce burglary offences in the area this academic year.”

For more policing news and information you can visit the Selly Oak Twitter and Brum Uni Cop Twitter accounts.

Good Landlord? Bad Landlord? Tell us about it!

 

The University of Birmingham, Guild of Students would like to get a better picture of your experiences of house hunting and living in the private rented sector. They have put together two surveys to get your feedback. 

If you’re a student at the University of Birmingham who has recently signed a tenancy agreement for the academic year of 2013/14, the Guild would like to hear about your recent property search. Please spare 5-10 minutes completing the House Hunting survey.

If you’re already living in the private rented sector, they would like to ask you a few questions about your property and the landlord/agency who manages the property for you. Please complete the Property and Landlord Satisfaction survey.

As a thank you for your valued input, the Guild of Students are picking one respondent at random to win an iPad Mini. There are also seventeen runners-up prizes to give-away!

 

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Unlawful landlords prosecuted by Birmingham City Council

Two unscrupulous landlords have been prosecuted for their failure to license and maintain a three storey student property (house in multiple occupation – HMO) in Erdington.

Landlords and cousins Tahir Nasim, 37, and Khurum Eusaff Choudhry, 30, pleaded guilty at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court (14 March 2013) to failing to hold a HMO licence. The pair also pleaded guilty to seven breaches of the HMO Management Regulations at their property.

Mr Nasim and Mr Choudhry were each fined £4000, a victim surcharge of £15 and costs of £1,026 totalling £5,041 each.

Evidence presented by Birmingham City Council to the court showed a catalogue of dangers at the property including:

  • a ceiling in the house in danger of collapsing
  • inoperable smoke alarms
  • the landlords running the property without an official HMO licence
  • inadequate fire precautions in the property.

Officers from Birmingham City Council started investigating the Erdington property in 2008, but gaining hard evidence and access to the property proved difficult. Tenants appeared to be discouraged from allowing officers access into the property.  Eventually in July 2012 council officers were contacted by tenants (students) complaining about the conditions.  Witness statements were provided confirming the landlords were operating the property without a HMO licence.

Jacqui Kennedy, Director of Regulation and Enforcement for Birmingham City Council, said: “Rogue landlords will not be tolerated in Birmingham.  Our officers worked hard on this case and will continue to bring irresponsible landlords to justice and protect tenants.

“The council is here to protect tenants and ensure that responsible landlords are supported by ensuring compliance from all landlords in the city and driving rogues out of business.”

The tenants of these Erdington properties – who can prove that they have paid their rent – can make an application for a Rent Repayment Order to the Residential Property Tribunal. The Tribunal can help to recover up to a maximum of 12 months rent paid to their landlords.

Birmingham City Council has issued over 1700 licences, demonstrating there are lots of good landlords in the city. The HMO Licensing Team will continue to enforce the law where necessary and have had a number of successful prosecutions in the Courts.  Landlords who are unsure of the licensing requirements should check the Council web site or telephone the team on 0121 303 4009.

Are you a current first year? Moving into or already living in Selly Oak? Want to protect your laptop and its contents from theft? Free Lo-Jack at The Vale from April

Lo JackAs you may well know, students are a prime target for burglary.

SO, WHERE WOULD YOU BE IF YOUR LAPTOP WAS STOLEN?

LoJack® for Laptops gives you the power to remotely locate, lock and delete the data on your computer before it falls in to the wrong hands. Most powerful of all, only LoJack for Laptops has a dedicated Theft Recovery Team that works with local law enforcement to recover your stolen laptop and return it to you.

DON’T MISS OUT ON THIS FANTASTIC AND FREE OPPORTUNITY.

To book your appointment, please go to guildofstudents.com/lojack and click on the Eventbrite tab relevant to your residence location.

For more information on LoJack for laptops, visit lojackforlaptops.com.

logo.jpgDuring Term 3 the Student Mentor Scheme in partnership with West Midlands Police and the Community Warden Scheme are rolling out FREE LoJack licensing to first year students who will be moving into the private sector this September (2013):

  • Tuesday 30th April – The Vale
  • Wednesday 1st May – Pritchatts Park
  • Thursday 2nd May – The Beeches
  • Tuesday 7th May – Jarratt & Victoria Hall
  • Wednesday 8th May – The Vale
  • Thursday 9th May – Hunter Court
  • Wednesday 15th May – Metchley Hall

 

FROM 4:00PM-8:00PM

To book your appointment, please go to guildofstudents.com/lojack and click on the Eventbrite tab relevant to your residence location.

 

We Want Your Unwanted Items

Junkbusters BHFThe Guild of Students has teamed up with the University of Birmingham for a second year running to deliver the Junkbusters initiative.   The junkbusters, a team of student volunteers, will collect unwanted items from homes within in Selly Oak; these items are then donated to the British Heart Foundation (BHF) – the nation’s heart charity. Last year, a staggering 1,128 bags were donated raising in excess of £9,000 for BHF.   To see pictures and information from last year click here.

 

Community Wardens JBThe Community Wardens,  students employed by the Guild of Students to make the local area safer, cleaner and greener, will post bags through student letter boxes from Thursday 14th March.   Students are encouraged to fill these bags with their unwanted items: clothes, shoes, CDs and DVDs, kitchen accessories and crockery, stationery, books, small electrical items in full working order e.g. kettles, lamps, hairdryers, audio equipment, and toasters (no rice cookers).

 

JB CollectionsBags will then be collected from student doorsteps by the junkbusters,  riding on ECO1,  the environmentally friendly milk float, from midday on Friday 22nd March.

For more info and to find out more go to the Junkbusters web-page – guildofstudents.com/junkbusters