Police’s 'grave concerns' about care home plan

Thursday, 25 January 2024 19:34

By Martyn Smith, Local Democracy Reporter

West Midlands Police say they are gravely concerned about security at a planned children’s care home in Dudley.

An application for a home in New Rowley Road has also created a storm of objections from residents who say they would fear for their safety if the scheme is approved.

Council planners are currently considering whether to grant a change of use application for four newly-built houses in the street to care home status. Currently the houses are classed as C3 dwellings which broadly means a single household or family home. Designing out crime officer Robert Manson, from the Force Crime Reduction Unit, said:

“I have grave concerns about this application on many levels. There is no mention of any kind of security arrangement for the four houses which will have 16 bedrooms between them.

“There is also no mention of any type of management plans, this will be a large children’s care facility.”

Police also say the home would add to their workload in a location already identified as a high crime area. Within a mile of the application site during the last 12 months 27 violent crime offences were reported along with seven burglaries and nine vehicle crimes.

The company behind the application is Birmingham-based New Era Residence, a specialised hospital avoidance admissions service for young people with complex mental health conditions. They say the New Rowley Road home will provide care and support for young people with behavioural difficulties.

The company did not respond to requests from the Local Democracy Reporting Service for comment but information on their website about the proposed care home says they are equipped to deal with outbursts of anger and violent episodes.

They also say they have the knowledge and skills to work with young people in care who may be on bail to prepare them for court appearances, deprivation of liberty reviews or movement into custody, returning home or other residential settings.


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