craig writes “Attendee’s Report: Berkswell Parish Council’s Annual General Meeting 13/5/04West Midlands Chief Supt. McGinty was challenged by angry residents to stop anti-social behaviour in Berkswell and Balsall Common. McGinty confirmed he would work together with residents and local council officials and develop a 6 to 12 month strategy for dealing with unruly skateboarders, gangs of yobs and under-age drinkers…….
A large attendance (100+) greeted McGinty’s promises with skepticism, although some in the room were more forgiving.
He was challenged by residents to allocate a Police Skateboarding team to flush out trouble makers and bring them to account.
“The Police need to get up to date and use modern crowd control tactics, the use of skateboards would definitely be a step in the right direction” said one attendee.
The Supt. was under the cosh throughout this lively meeting and allegations were made that a local off-licence was selling alcohol to minors.
Local council officials present at the meeting stepped forward to assure residents that as suspicions had been raised they would allocate resources to monitoring the situation.
Banning anti-social behaviourSupt. McGinty explained to the angry mob that measuring and dealing with anti-social behaviour is less than clear-cut as perceptions vary depending on the eye of the beholder. He said of complaints made about large groups of kids hanging about,
“I spoke to a group of teenagers at a youth group recently and they pointed out that hanging about on the streets with your mates is what kids do. To them it’s social behaviour.”
A new police station equipped with more fuzz is on it’s way and McGinty welcomes applications from the public to patrol the streets as Special Constables.
Policing aside, Parish Councillors and Local Council staff united in urging residents to work together as a community to become part of the solution.
Chief Superintendent Jim McGinty (like all good Jedi’s he uses the force, but not in Balsall Common)”