Call for private guards to halt area’s soaring crime
PRIVATE security guards are to be hired in a Birmingham neighbourhood where residents have declared they have had enough of gangs and burglars.
Locals in Frankley now say they are willing to put their hands in their pockets claiming they have been left ‘scared’ by a spike in break-ins, car thefts and anti-social behaviour.
They want to hire a security officer and dog to patrol certain streets from dusk ‘til dawn who could be alerted to crime through real-time alerts on a mobile app.
Councillor Simon Morrall (Cons, Frankley Great Park) is spearheading the idea.
He told around 30 residents at Hollymoor Community Church that since becoming a councillor he turns up to speak to burglary victims quicker than the police.
Cllr Morrall said: “In this particular part of the world we have seen a rise in car key burglaries.
“We have got to the stage where enough is enough and we have got to try and do something.
“We are not looking to replace police. Fundamentally this is a deterrent. It is also a back-up while police are on their way or better still people won’t commit crime in the first place.
“The worst case scenario is that if we don’t do something people will start vigilante groups and someone is going to get hurt. We don’t want that.”
Cllr Morrall is looking to launch an eight-week trial in a specific part of Frankley, which if successful in driving down burglary rates, he would look to roll out further afield with potential financial support from the ward’s parish council.
Faisal Abdullah, of Birmingham Security Services, said that security guards were are not the same as police but could act as a physical presence with powers to restrain suspects, albeit not arrest them.
Figures from police.uk show that in the force’s Longbridge area, including Frankley, there were 345 burglaries between October last year and September this year.
During the same period there were 546 reports of anti-social behaviour, 400 vehicle crimes and 335 incidents of criminal damage and arson.
The most common crime types are violence and sexual offences accounting for a combined 807 reports.
> Residents are fed up with crime in Frankley in south-west Birmingham