Today (Friday 17 August) Mary and I along with Councillor Greg Brackenridge attended the Police and Community Together Meeting in the Wednesfield Library.
It was a very well attended meeting and the new Wednesfield Sgt Rob Dalton, was also in attendance.
There was a lot of discussion about the situation in the High Street, The traders spoke of the damage to their shops, the vandalism, and the constant fight against Anti Social Behaviour . h the begging and the homeless issues. Local traders who were present were explaining how difficult it is for customers when some of those that were begging were aggressive with it.
The Police informed that many of those that were regularly seen in the High Street, were neither homeless or destitute. That in fact they are begging to fuel their own drug addiction. Warning notices issued by the Police have been served to some of these individuals.
Sgt Dalton impressed upon the meeting that the best approach to this problem is for people to stop giving them money. Also to report the incidents of aggressive begging to the Police either via the telephone, and the Police 101 system or CrimeStoppers 0800 555111, or via the West Midlands Police email reporting system.
Traders warned that there was also an alarming number of elderly people who were having their purses lifted after visiting High Street Banks and Post Office. The police appeared to be unaware of this, possibly due to the fact that the thefts were not being reported after it had happened. The 101 telephone calling system was lambasted as being hopeless and in effectual. Almost everyone who spoke reported that the system did not work for them.
The Police have a tiger by the tail on this. There systems which they want the taxpayers to use doesn’t work! The Police stations they are closing, is leaving a massive hole. The Police are growing further apart from the public….and the frustration of this well attended meeting is plain for all to see!
The Meeting was very vocal about the intentions to close Wednesfield Police Station. It has a closure date of Autumn 2019. The three Labour Councillors present informed the meeting that we were still campaigning to get this decision reversed. The Meeting left it very clear that the Police Station should stay open. Many spoke about it being required now, and in its current ‘Zombie’ stage it is frustrating for residents who want to use it to report crime and seek West Midlands Police Advice!
There was a very strong call made from those attending to have a direct link with the Police via a Police Surgery if the Police Station and its Police commanders continue to ignore the publics call, one that could be held in one place at a regular time and be well publicised.
Wednesfield North Issues
Mary and I raised the issue of motor bikes and the nuisance they are being faced with, of the bikes being raced around the shops, the Park , and estate roads. We raised the need for the Police to treat as a priority The Ashmore Park Shopping Parade – Motorbikes, Fly Tipping and now criminal damage in the shape of crude graffiti. Speed issues on Peacock Ave, Broad Lane North, Kitchen Lane, and Woodend Road and Linthouse Lane. I also spoke with the Sgt about Drug related issues.
Finally I also raised with the Police the good work they do with the Annual Fishing contest they organise, sponsored by Fatties Bait and Tackle Shop on Ashmore Park. I asked that the Police continue to work in this way with the young people in Wednesfield North and Wednesfield. It was a good thing to do and didn’t go by unnoticed. I was very pleased to see Fatties being so supportive.