13th Aug, 2020

Charford residents call for action to cut crime and anti-social behaviour

CUT BACK the bushes and trees, improve the lighting and open up the dark and dingy alleyways to cut crime and anti-social behaviour – that was the message from Charford residents at a meeting last Thursday.

Concerns were voiced about criminal activity in alleyways on the estate, including the ones off Salwarpe Road, Charford Road and Tibberton Court.

One man said he had moved two people on from an alleyway who were in the process of conducting a drugs deal while others said some areas had become intimidating because they were not very well lit.

Fears were also expressed about garage sites becoming magnets for criminal and anti-social behaviour, such as cannabis smoking.

PC Matt Pedrick, the local Safer Neighbourhood Team officer, urged people to report incidents while they were happening so police could respond.

There was, he said, a Charford estate WhatsApp group where officers could be messaged quicker and more directly, while they were out on patrol.

“If we don’t know about these issues until afterwards, we can’t do anything about them.

“We will respond when we can.”

One woman said she had not contacted the police as the incidents may appear ‘too trivial’.

But Coun Michael Thompson said: “You pay your taxes, you deserve the action to be taken.”

David Rischmiller, Bromsgrove Community Safety Projects Officer, said: “We’re pleased the group in Charford have come together and raised their safety concerns with us.

“Having been made aware of the issues, we have done several walkabouts and have been taking action to improve the area for all residents.

“We are working with Worcestershire County Council and other landowners in the area to ensure that these improvements are made.”

Graeme Anderson, BDHT’s director of housing and communities, said: “It’s always useful to hear feedback directly from our customers and the community meetings are the ideal forum.

“In this case, whilst very few of the trees and lighting mentioned are the responsibility of bdht we will, as always, continue to work closely and proactively with police and council partners to improve the situation.”

People were also urged to join the new Charford Watch neighbourhood watch scheme for the area.

As well as needing more members and co-ordinators, a Street Watch group set up where people patrol the streets was mooted, along with a Speed Watch to clamp down on motorists who flout the law.

Councillors Thompson and Harrison Rone-Clarke would be loaned speed guns from the police to monitor vehicles travelling through areas where residents have raised concerns.

Message Coun Thompson through the Love Charford Facebook page or call him on 07861 739942 for more on Charford Watch and the WhatsApp group.

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