Words & pics by Ed King
On Thursday 23 March, local businesses and retailers are invited to a meeting with Birmingham City Council and West Midlands Police, to hear their combined ’10 point plan’ to tackle crime on Erdington High Street and in the Town Centre.
Crime and antisocial behaviour have become key concerns in the central Erdington shopping district, with High Street retailers losing thousands each week to shoplifters and many local residents feeling unsafe to visit the area.
Organised by the Erdington Business Improvement District (BID) and Erdington MP Paulette Hamilton, the meeting is a continuation of consultations between the elected officials and the local business community – this month to be held at Oikos Café and Church at 6pm on Thursday 23 March.
Local businesses and retailers can also secure a place at the meeting by emailing Erdington MP Paulette Hamilton’s office at email@example.com
Promoting the event, a message on the Erdington BID Facebook page said: “The next police and crime meeting, focusing on Erdington Town Centre will take place on Thursday March 23rd at Oikos Church, Erdington High Street at 6pm.
“West Midlands Police and Birmingham City Council will be talking through their 10 point plan to help improve the High Street moving forward.”
Erdington MP Paulette Hamilton added: “At my previous meeting in February, I heard many local traders talk about the problems they are facing on the High Street. There is no doubt that something needs to be done to improve the situation if we want to prevent more shops from closing.
“I’m pleased that we are making progress and I hope to see as many local businesses as possible at the meeting.”
Erdington suffers with a higher than average crime rate across the city, with an already stretched local police force facing a huge challenge with limited resources.
Since 2010, police teams across the region have been decimated by budget cuts – losing around 50% of officers dedicated to neighbourhood and community policing.
But in a recent meeting Chief Constable Craig Guildford maintained his force’s commitment to “…providing the best service we can to the residents, business owners, and any visitors to the High Street in Erdington.”
He added: “I definitely need people to report (crimes), to ring 999, if there’s a shoplifter detained that kicking off or assaulting anybody.
“And at the same time, I’d also encourage you to engage the BID and encourage the local businesses to work with the BID as well.”
For more on Oikos Café visit www.oikoscafe.co.uk
If you have been a victim of crime on Erdington High Street we want to hear your story – please get in touch with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org