Extra police are driving crooks out of crime-ridden town centre, says MP

A spike in the number of bobbies on the beat has helped to drive criminals out of a town centre, an MP has said.

West Bromwich town centre has become a crime hotspot in recent years
West Bromwich town centre has become a crime hotspot in recent years

Nicola Richards said extra officers on patrol in West Bromwich meant that crooks no longer had a "free reign" in the town.

The West Bromwich East MP was speaking after hosting a virtual crime summit featuring representatives from West Midlands Police, Sandwell College and the town's Business Improvement District.

It came after public concerns about crime in the town were raised following a series of incidents including violent attacks, anti-social behaviour, burglaries and robberies.

Ms Richards, who last year launched a campaign aimed at reducing town centre crime, said she had been encouraged to hear that local firms were working with police to address issues blighting the area.

She said: "The additional police that we’ve seen in the town centre over the last few months has been a big help to driving criminals out of the town centre.

"I am determined that we clamp down on the criminals that used to think they have free reign in our town centre.

Nicola Richards last year supported a campaign to reduce violence against shopworkers

"That means there is still plenty of work to be done, and we can all play our part by reporting crime whenever we see it.

"If crime isn’t reported, we can’t hope to get the resources we need to fight it."

Business leaders say they hope a reduction in crime will see people flock to the town centre.

Lisa Hill, West Bromwich Business Improvement District (BID) manager, said: "By tackling crime, we will encourage new visitors to the town and help our businesses and their staff feel safe in our BID area."

Residents in West Bromwich East can take part in Ms Richards' crime survey at nicolarichards.org.uk/crime-survey.

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