No Gate Escape for Burglars
Selly Oak Gating Scheme—What is it?
Over the last 10 years, landlords and letting agents may have noticed the spread of gates across the Bournbrook and Selly Oak area, with now over 250 gates in place, securing side entrances to up to 6 properties at a time across the neighbourhood. What started as a small-scale project has now evolved into a thriving scheme, available to landlords, letting agents and students to access and make use of.
Investment has come through Birmingham City Council, West Midlands Police and the Birmingham Community Safety Partnership and the scheme is managed by Bournbrook Community Safety Project (BCSP).
Over the last two years funding has come from the Birmingham City Council Selly Oak Ward Committee and West Midlands Police Proceeds of Crime funds. This has provided sufficient funds to maintain the existing scheme, though not to expand it. As part of this programme Bournbrook Community Safety Project are repairing and refurbishing existing gates and can provide keys to students and landlords to make effective use of their gates.
Why does the area need a scheme?
You may not have noticed their presence in the area, but the fact is that these gates are potentially the most important factor in reducing burglary in the area. Over the last four years, for example approximately half of all burglaries have taken place through rear access, most frequently as a result of burglars moving undetected through side-entrance alleyways. This figure used to be around 80%, which shows the impact that the scheme has had.
What services are available to landlords and agents?
- Report gates for repair and or refurbishment
- If you or your tenants have lost their gate keys, you can request replacements, though there will be a charge.
Selly Oak Gating Scheme contact details
Bournbrook Community Safety Project
0121 472 6671
Counting the cost…vandalism and damage…
We need your help
Every year approximately 60 gates in the gating scheme need the locks, keeps and keys replacing due to vandalism and damage caused by students, contractors and landlords. Cost-wise this amounts to between £3,000 and £10,000 per year spent on undertaking avoidable repair work. Over the 10 year life-span of the scheme, that amounts to as much as £100,000 just on repairs.
Due to funding reductions within the public sector there simply isn’t the money in place now to continue this expensive and avoidable repairs, alongside the ongoing maintenance programme. Most of the damage caused to the gates occurs during the summer period, as a result of building contractors, landlords and new tenants simply not having keys to unlock the gates.
So how can landlords and letting agents help?
- If you have not done so already, ensure that you have keys for your gates. These are available from Bournbrook Community Safety Project.
- Ensure that contractors are issued with keys before building works start to prevent forced entry and damage to the gates.
- Ensure that outgoing tenants return their gate key with their house keys, as part of the housing inventories, so that they can be handed over to the new tenants without fuss.
- If keys are lost, ensure that they are replaced (contact Bournbrook Community Safety Project)
Please note that West Midlands Police will also take action against any person(s), including landlords, letting agents, contractors and students found to be causing criminal damage to the gates in Selly Oak.
In the current economic climate, funding is only available for basic maintenance and repair of the scheme in the neighbourhood, through wear and tear. Under the current rate of repairs, this could see the gating scheme fall into disrepair and use over the next couple of years if the deliberate damage continues. This will have potentially significant impacts on crime levels in Selly Oak and subsequently students, landlords and letting agents.
If you have any enquiries about specific gates or keys, please contact Bournbrook Community Safety Project, via 0121 472 6671.