Dudley soup kitchen plan opposed by police who fear increase in crime

A soup kitchen hoping to provide a place to stay and a hot meal for hungry people seven days a week has been opposed by West Midlands Police.

Jackson Street in Lye
Jackson Street in Lye

The soup kitchen hopes to build a three-storey HMO in Dudley with full kitchen facilities on the ground floor.

Planned for a vacant plot next to Jackson Street in Lye, the upper floors would be used to house homeless people with space for seven guests and a kitchen.

In a statement the soup kitchen said: “The current plan is for the facility to operate seven days a week, serving breakfast, right through to dinner. We have commitments from local and national businesses for support and 10-plus volunteers who will man the facility for a minimum of 16 hours a day.

“The soup kitchen would provide a welcoming place for the homeless and those living in food poverty in the Lye and Dudley Area.

"Hot tea, hot food, baking and other healthy foods will be available to those needing the services. There would also be first aid trained volunteers on hand to provide emergency first aid to those that otherwise would fail to seek assistance.”

But responding to the application, Officer Manson of West Midlands Police said the development would bring an increase in crime.

“We do have concerns about this development as the ground floor appears to be for non-residents with no management plan or security plan, the first and second floors are for a seven-bed HMO who have their own shared kitchen area so the ground floor would be for all none residents, amount unknown,” he said.

“The entry point for non-residents is next door to the residents, security wise this development will see an increase in vehicle crime and anti-social behaviour which will lead to an increase in police demand. Parking is also an issue as no mention of how many parking bays there will be or where they will be sited.

“All around the building is restricted parking and I would imagine that food deliveries would be taking place regularly. The only parking space is the car park opposite which only has street lighting, this car park has had vehicle crime and disorder happen on the car park during 2022.”

The plans will now go before a Dudley planning committee.

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