Extra police on street as Covid restrictions end this week

Police are promising extra patrols across the Black Country this week in the wake of 'Freedom Day'.

As coronavirus restrictions are lifting from Monday, West Midlands Police is planning to have more officers on the streets.

A reduction in crime was seen after lockdown started and now police are planning ways to tackle the issues which may arise with the new freedom.

Officers will be conducting speed checks on busy roads, searching parks for knives, going into schools and businesses.

A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: "Coronavirus restrictions are lifting today and we understand that some of you might be feeling anxious or worried.

"The national lockdown that ended on 29 March caused a really big reduction in crime, similar to that seen at the beginning of the pandemic last year.

"But with looser restrictions now allowing more people to leave home and enjoy time in bars and public spaces, figures have already been rising.

"You might see more officers out and about this week than you have in the last 18 months. Please don’t be alarmed, they’re simply there to keep you safe, deter and prevent crime.

"We’ve got lots of activity planned, including: Test purchasing in collaboration with Trading Standards, extra patrols in areas where crime has risen most in recent weeks, speed checks on busier roads, searches in parks for knives and other weapons, schools inputs on anti-social behaviour and knife crime, robbery prevention events and bike marking sessions.

"Local officers will be keeping an eye out for vulnerable people who may need help with drug addiction, substance misuse, homelessness and other serious issues. Where necessary, they will refer people to local charities and organisations that offer specialist help and support.

"There will be opportunities for you to speak to local officers about issues that matter to you too.

"Please visit our website for information and useful crime prevention advice www.west-midlands.police.uk, you can use live chat to report crime 8am – midnight, or call 101 anytime."

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