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Plan to tackle rising crime launched

By Gurdip Thandi | Walsall | Crime | Published:

An action plan to make Walsall safer and tackle growing crime and disorder is being launched this week.

Walsall Council

The Safer Walsall Partnership Plan 2020 sets out five key priorities a number of agencies including Walsall Council, the police, NHS and the voluntary sector will work together to deal with over the coming years.

The plan, going to Walsall Council’s cabinet on Wednesday, said overall crime in the town had risen by more than 15 per cent since 2016/17.

It also highlighted that, in 2018/19, there had been 464 knife crime offences, 3,700 recorded incidents of ‘public place’ violence and 3,275 incidents of domestic abuse.

Statistics also showed that there were 479 repeat offenders over the last 12 months while more than 1,500 people receive treatment for drug and alcohol misuse.

The five priorities of the plan will be reducing violence; preventing violent extremism; reducing substance and alcohol misuse; reduce offending and re-offending and tackle serious organised crime.

Councillor Garry Perry, chairman of the Safer Walsall Partnership, said the aim was to ensure people were safe and felt safer within the borough but added communities themselves could play a part in combating crime.

He said: “When I became chairman, there wasn’t a plan in place. Partners were tackling issues but in a scatter-gun way without any real co-ordination.

“But we are now at a stage where we can bring this forward. We have five clear priorities instead of more than 80 which partners will address and that can make a real difference to the borough.

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“Of course, there is always going to be a difference between what people say is a priority compared with what the evidence tells us. If they are not victims of certain crimes, then they don’t see it.

“So we are keen to ensure the plan is the voice of the community.

“This will be a two-pronged attack. On the one hand we will pursue and enforce and on the other we will be proactive and look at prevention and why people commit crimes in the first place.

“But no single agency alone can deliver this which is why we need to work together and that includes people in the community.

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“We will ask communities to help. This is not about them taking over the job of the police, council or other agencies. There is a massive amount of intelligence out there that can help the agencies do their job.

“We are already seeing the positive impact that local streetwatch groups are having on a number of levels.”

He added the plan has been boosted by the Government’s announcement to recruit more police officers nationally that could see 366 more bobbies on the beat in Walsall.

The plan is due to be signed off by the Partnership on Tuesday before cabinet gives its approval the following day.

Gurdip Thandi

By Gurdip Thandi
@Gurdo

Local Democracy Reporter covering Walsall.

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