Creating a Safer Digbeth
The job of policing Digbeth is the responsibility of the Digbeth Neighbourhood Police Team, headed up by Sergeant Andy Wood. He is supported by five PCs (Abdul Hye, Les Hands, Tracey Pickering, Emma Darroch and Phil Bates) and five PCSOs (Anita Hodson, Charmaine Brown, Alfie Hobbs, Sajid Khan and Amee Cox).
Although we do suffer from some crime, Digbeth is not one of Birmingham’s hotspots; a lot of this is down to the hard work of the Digbeth Team in not only fighting, but also preventing offences. This work was recently recognised in the Birmingham Mail.
One of the problems Digbeth does have stems from the fact it’s treated like an open air car park for city centre workers and shoppers which makes us a target for thieves. Sgt Wood said: “Thousands of people park their cars here every morning and don’t come back for eight hours, so historically Digbeth has suffered from high vehicle crime.”
However, intelligence-led targeted patrols have led to vehicle crime being cut in half. Anti-social behaviour issues, including street begging and street drinking, are also being targeted.
In neighbouring Highgate, where bored youngsters suffer from deprivation and a lack of open spaces to play in, the Digbeth Team have been working closely with Highgate United Group (HUG) and have secured funding to create a children’s play area.
Digbeth Residents Association very much appreciates the work of the Digbeth Team, and the support they show us by regularly attending our meetings. Not only this, but DRA was recently awarded a £1000 grant from West Midlands Police, to help in our work to create a safer Digbeth by focussing on fostering a sense of community both within Digbeth and with our neighbours in Highgate.
PC Tracey Pickering handed over a cheque to DRA Chair Val Woodward. Digbeth Residents Association would like to thank West Midlands Police warmly for this donation; we look forward to working even closer together with the Digbeth Team in future.