Sandwell crime crackdown success

First published in Local

RECORDED crime dropped 7.8 per cent and anti-social behaviour reports were down 32 per cent during a six-week crackdown in Sandwell.

The third annual Safer 6 campaign also saw around 30 tonnes of waste and litter cleared from ‘grot spots’ across the borough.

The campaign involved more than 10 organisations joining forces to build on their day-to-day work together by targeting their efforts and providing extra reassurance as the nights drew in and during the bonfire and fireworks season.

But a senior councillor warns similar success rates are likely to become a thing of the past as Government austerity cuts bite deeper.

Councillor Ian Jones, cabinet member for neighbourhood services, said partnership working at this concentration of effort could not be sustained over 52 weeks.

And he warned that cuts, resulting in fewer police on the streets and reductions in other emergency and council services, will jeopardise future success rates.

The Safer 6 campaign, from October 15 to November 25 resulted in 181 fewer victims of crime compared to the same six weeks in 2011.

There were 36 arrests and 27 seizures of drugs, including cannabis plants and suspected Class A drugs valued at £10,000 from Harry Price House, Oldbury.

Fake clothes and shoes worth £1.5 million were discovered in a raid on an industrial unit in the town.

More than 40,000 smuggled cigarettes, 20 kilograms of tobacco and 110 litres of alcohol were seized from shops and homes by police, trading standards and HM Revenue and Customs.

Twenty abandoned vehicles were removed by council wardens,104 motorists were advised on seat belts and child car seats and police seized 13 vehicles that were being used illegally or in an anti-social manner.

Firefighters carried out safety checks at 155 homes and 1,100 empty properties were checked for security by the council’s private sector housing team – part of ongoing efforts to get them occupied.

More than 500 empty garages were inspected by Sandwell Homes and police, checking for stolen goods, improving locks and working to bring them back into use.

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