Call for more police patrols and CCTV after spike in car crime

Councillors have called for more police patrols and extra CCTV in a bid to tackle a spike in car crime in part of a city.

Councillors are concerned over a spate of car crimes in Tettenhall
Councillors are concerned over a spate of car crimes in Tettenhall

Wolverhampton was named as one of the worst cities in the country for car crime last year, with 3,440 incidents recorded in the 12 months to August.

Conservative councillors in Tettenhall Regis say their area has been badly hit in recent months. They have urged Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) David Jamieson to bring in increased safety measures to allay fears in the community.

In a letter to the PCC they also demanded a "long term strategy" to tackle vehicle crimes which they say involve "organisation and planning".

Councillors' Udey Singh, Sohail Khan and Jonathan Yardley said Mr Jamieson had "failed to allay concerns" and demanded "a different approach" to reassure residents.

"What we are asking for are more patrols and increased CCTV," they said.

"We know many of these crimes are happening at night and we want to see more patrols take place then. The perpetrators behind these crimes know that the likelihood of them running into police are minimal."

Councillor Yardley added: "These aren’t isolated, opportunistic crimes. There is organisation and planning to these crimes and whilst additional patrols can help in the immediate, a longer-term strategy needs adopting."

Last year West Midlands Police was revealed to have the highest amount of unsolved vehicle crimes in the country, with 93 per cent of cases resulting in no action being taken.

According to the latest figures, vehicle crime fell by 20 per cent in the region in the year to September 2020.

Labour PCC Mr Jamieson, said West Midlands Police had "led the way" nationally in tackling vehicle crime in recent years, and said Operation Cantil – a targeted response to organised gangs – had been responsible for "thousands of arrests, the recovery of hundreds of vehicles and the disruption of organised criminal gangs".

He added: "We’ve got tough on vehicle crime in the West Midlands which is why we’ve seen a consistent drop these offences. But we are not complacent about this, car thefts are an awful crime and can ruin people’s livelihoods.

"The councillors should be reminded that successive governments which they have supported have cut West Midlands Police severely, having seen £175m taken from our budget in the past 10 years leading to 2,200 fewer police officers on the streets. Despite bold promises we are only going to get half of those officers back in the West Midlands.

"They should be joining my campaign, calling on the government for fair funding for West Midlands Police which currently loses out significantly in funding compared to lower crime rural areas."

Jay Singh-Sohal, the Conservative candidate for PCC, has pledged to deliver "more robust action" to tackle car crime.

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