Councillor calls for action to tackle yobs

Sunday, 14 April 2024 19:26

By Martyn Smith, Local Democracy Reporter

People in Wollescote claim have been telling how their lives are made a misery by a gang of yobs.

Youths have been seen throwing eggs and bricks at homes and vehicles, verbally abusing residents, driving cars and riding off-road motorcycles dangerously and starting fires.

Local councillor Tim Crumpton is calling for a public meeting with police however Halesowen’s top neighbourhood police officer says action is already being taken. A resident, who did not wish to be identified, said:

“It’s really scary, I am at my window all the while because they are throwing things and banging on doors. The abuse is horrible to hear, it makes you wonder what the world is coming to. 

“I haven’t had any sleep, you only have to hear something and you are at your window or looking at cameras. We shouldn’t have to live like this, you are on tenterhooks all the while.”

Residents say a gang of around 20 hooligans, some as young as nine, have been causing problems.

An empty shop unit on Oakfield Road is regularly targeted by youths trying to start fires while vehicles are driven recklessly which, in one incident, led to a car crashing onto a wall. Cllr Crumpton said:

“We have got to be able to do something about it, it can’t be allowed to destroy the neighbourhood. I would be quite happy to have a public meeting for people to come together, we want the police at a public meeting.”

Halesowen neighbourhood police sergeant, Nichola Chester, said: “There has been a spate of anti-social behaviour, we have been issuing warnings and dealing with it in conjunction with the council – this can be a breach of their tenancy.

“All that is currently ongoing, we have a good working relationship with the council.”

People in the area admit they have recently seen a drop in crime but remain concerned the yobs will return. Another member of the community, who did not want to be identified, says police confronted youths in the empty shop on Oakfield Road. The witness said:

“Police came and talked to them while they sat in there – then they drove off. I was gobsmacked. I have a lot of faith in the police but people in the area are feeling intimidated.”

Sgt Chester said: “We are conducting regular patrols, the shops tend to be where these groups of children come to create a bit of havoc.

“Where we have identified those involved they have also been issued with relevant anti-social behaviour notices.

“It is about perception, you may not see us on every street corner but that doesn’t mean we are not there, I will not tolerate that kind of behaviour in my wards.

“I would be happy to attend a public meeting and would urge councillors in Cradley and Wollescote to keep in touch.”

West Midlands police and crime commissioner, Simon Foster, said: “It is essential members of the public report crime and information to the police. 

“We have sought assurances from the chief constable that the police use the reports and information shared by the public to target people committing crime and causing misery in our communities. 

“He has assured me that they do, and has advised the public to keep reporting crime, because the information is used and they are helping the police to prevent, tackle and reduce crime.”


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