Balsall Common Police Shop to move out of town?

Balsall Common’s Police Shop in the main shopping area on Station Road may be put up for relocation as West Midlands Police Authority consider cost cutting options to meet their ever decreasing operating budget.

The spending review could see the shop uprooted and relocated to the Police occupied premises on Holly Lane, removing a central presence and putting a question mark over what to do with Parish Council funded CCTV equipment on the premises which has been instrumental in solving crimes in the village.

Meanwhile official Police statistics show Balsall Common suffered 9 burglaries in September 2011. Three men were arrested in connection with 6 of them including 2 overnight burglaries on Green Lane and Elm Grive, plus four by day in Balsall Street, Kelsey Lane, Alder Lane and Leveson Crescent. The men have also been charged with additional offences including burglaries and thefts at Birmingham Airport and across Warwickshire. They are currently on remand in prison awaiting trial.

A spokesperson for the Balsall Common Village Residents Association says,

“We’re opposed to any proposals relating to the removal of our Police presence from the village centre, because it’s seen as a vital element in deterring anti-social behaviour. The Police will not be issued with any additional vehicles so average response times getting to incidents from outside the village on Holly Lane will be impaired.”

There is a number of initiatives in the area aimed at tackling crime, speeding and anti-social behaviour, including Neighbourhood Watch, the new Streetwatch scheme and youth community bus, among others. But is this enough? What do you think about the threat of the Police relocation? What do you think of crime prevention and response times in the area? Let us know in the comments field below or on our Facebook page.