Fears over crime­wave in his­toric quar­ter

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

BIRM­ING­HAM’S Jew­ellery Quar­ter is in the grip of a crime­wave af­ter a string of high pro­file vi­o­lent rob­beries in the area.

A num­ber of se­ri­ous crimes in the past year have in­cluded ram raids and day­light beat­ings by ba­ton-wield­ing gangs.

Many busi­ness own­ers and res­i­dents said they strug­gle to feel safe, es­pe­cially af­ter the clo­sure of the front desk of the lo­cal po­lice sta­tion. There were 203 crimes re­ported within a half mile ra­dius of the po­lice sta­tion in War­stone Lane in March alone, in­clud­ing 44 re­ports of anti-so­cial be­hav­iour, 36 re­ports of violence or sex­ual of­fences and 39 re­ports of ve­hi­cle crime.

In a 12-month pe­riod up un­til March there were 2,629 crimes in the quar­ter, ac­cord­ing to Home Of­fice fig­ures, up 300 on the pre­vi­ous 12 months.

Ana Rocha Bar and Art Gallery, in Fred­er­ick Street, was re­cently ram raided us­ing a stolen Land Rover and £600,000 worth of an­tiques and jew­ellery stolen. Man­ager An­dre Festa, said: “We don’t feel safe any­more. We take the re­ally ex­pen­sive things with us now.”

West Mid­lands Po­lice said they were un­able to com­ment un­less a free­dom of in­for­ma­tion re­quest was submitted for of­fi­cial crime fig­ures. The Jew­ellery Quar­ter Busi­ness Im­prove­ment District was also un­able to com­ment as a Busi­ness In­vest­ment District (BID) re­newal bal­lot had opened.

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