Words by Adam Smith
Erdington’s top cop has warned his police officers will be more assertive with people flouting COVID-19 restriction rules.
Inspector Haroon Chughtai explained the new tougher stance as Birmingham was placed under the Government’s new Tier 2 restrictions today – including on the spot fines and fixed penalty notices of £100, increasing up to £3200 for repeat offenders.
In an email to Erdington residents, Inspector Haroon Chughtai explained people should by now understand the pandemic and its consequences – so his officers will spend less time explaining rules and more time enforcing them.
He said: “We have changed the tone of our policing of COVID. It could be argued that we have all had enough time to live with and understand what and why restrictions exist, so while we are still using the 4 E approach (Engage, Explain, Encourage and then Enforce) which I have mentioned previously, we will move to enforcement quicker then we have previously.
“Thankfully this remains a rare occurrence with most people being very sensible and responsible in their behaviour. To give you some context in the last month, we have issued two fines, one to an individual who refused to wear a mask without a valid exemption and the second was only yesterday to a business in Sutton who have little or no social distancing measures in place.”
We walked in to The Greyhound to find a wedding party, with drinks still being served, a DJ set up and a gazebo outside. pic.twitter.com/3LdeaqMBek
— West Midlands Police (@WMPolice) October 4, 2020
The Tier 2 COVID-19 restrictions which come into force today (Wednesday 14th October 2020) in Erdington, Kingstanding, and across Birmingham are:
- People must not socialise with anybody outside of their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
- The rule of six will now apply to private gardens, alongside other spaces like beaches or parks (other than where specific exemptions apply in law)
- Weddings can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees
- Funerals can only have 30 attendees, with a maximum of 15 at wakes and commemorations
- Team sports can only be played where officially organised by a club or organisation
- People are advised to minimise the number of journeys they make
- While you can still go on holiday, it can only be with people you live with, or your support bubble
- Businesses and venues can continue to operate until 10pm, in a COVID-secure manner – although customers must sit at a table when eating and drinking
- Schools, universities and places of worship will remain open
As well as the latest COVID-19 policing issues, Inspector Chughtai revealed overall crime has risen again in Erdington compared to last year’s figures with domestic violence again worryingly high.
Inspector Chughtai said: “Erdington is showing a 10% increase in overall crime, that is around 600 extra victims of crime, like I said last month domestic abuse plays a large part in this increase with 450 extra victims of domestic abuse so far this year compared to the same period last year.
“Domestic abuse continues to show increases with a 40% rise, which is 450 extra victims – this remains my biggest concern and the one of the main priorities of my teams.”
Officers from the Erdington Neighbourhood Team have just arrested a male for a high risk domestic assault, we’ve been after him for 3 days – the relentless pursuit has paid off. Arresting domestic abuse offenders is one of our top priorities. pic.twitter.com/jH5mew0fWC
— Erdington Policing Constituency (@ErdingtonWMP) October 8, 2020
He added: “Robbery and burglary continue to show good reductions, with robbery showing a 16% reduction with 33 less victims of robbery, house burglaries show a 5% reduction with18 less victims of burglary, like Sutton we have seen an increase in burglary offences recently which is taking away the good reductions made earlier in the year.”
He added: “Under 25 violence shows a 6% reduction, which has increased compared to last month – largely down to an increase is low level fights between school children and some robbery offences with young people being both victims and offenders. We are working very closely with the schools around this.”
For more information from West Midlands Police about the latest COVID-19 restrictions, visit www.west-midlands.police.uk/coronavirus
For more information from Government on the latest COVID-19 restrictions in Birmingham, Sandwell, and Solihull, visit www.gov.uk/guidance/birmingham-sandwell-and-solihull-local-restrictions
If you believe you are a victim of domestic abuse, you can seek help and advice via the freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline is 0808 2000 247
For more information visit www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk