Tackling Issues On Soho Road In Birmingham

With the start of a new year, we want local people in Birmingham to know we’re committed as ever to addressing problems and crime affecting our communities.

We’ve been listening to concerns shared by local people about Soho Road and acting on these.

An operation was set up by the Lozells and East Handsworth Neighbourhood Team. It comes after people living and working in the area let us know about issues around begging, homelessness, street drinkers, poor parking, shoplifting, littering, drug dealing and anti-social behaviour.

The aim of the operation is for us to work together with partner agencies and people to create a safer area via prevention work, education, referrals and using enforcement where required.

Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNjz2JbokaM&feature=youtu.be

Here’s the many agencies we’ve been working alongside to improve the area:

· Council ASB officers, parking enforcement officers, the council’s ‘Love My Street’ team, rubbish cleaning teams and the council CCTV control room
· Representatives from local schools, colleges and charities
· Bus revenue inspectors and Safer Travel officers
· The Soho Road Business Improvement District (BID)
· Trident Outreach homeless services
· St Basils youth hub
· Sex Workers Outreach Teams
· Nishkam Temple Security Team
· Volunteers
· Community Street Watch groups

We’re monitoring the ongoing progress being made and recording results and persons of note on a briefing, which our police officers review before going out on patrol, ensuring they know the people who are causing the most harm and risk to the community we serve.

But we know these are ongoing issues that can’t be solved by just making arrests.

Sergeant Greg Lampitt, from the Lozells and East Handsworth Neighbourhood Police Team, said: “We know the issues on Soho Road and the surrounding area aren’t new, these are ongoing and we are listening to and working with the community on ways to improve this.

“This is very much a joined-up approach, we have a meeting once a month with all partner agencies to discuss the ongoing progress of the operation. This is also where plans, ideas, suggestions and objectives are discussed, in order to move together in the right direction.

“We also have ‘All Out Days’ a minimum of four times a month, whereby staff from each agency go out on foot patrol together on the Soho Road and adjoining junctions. These staff use their own knowledge and skills to deal with situations they come across, but also to support, offer guidance, and help each other on patrol, to provide the community the service it requires.”

Local officers have also provided training inputs to partner agencies around information and intelligence gathering, county lines, under 25 violence, de-escalation techniques, and vulnerable people.

On top of this, we have hi-visibility patrols, plain clothes patrols, push bike patrols, unmarked and marked vehicles patrols.

If you have concerns you want to raise, you can email your local neighbourhood police team. Just enter your postcode in the ‘Find your local police’ section on our website https://www.west-midlands.police.uk/

You can also get live updates from your local police team when you sign up to WMNow https://www.wmnow.co.uk/


Public Community Safety Meeting Minutes 28th Feb 2022

The first Public Community Safety Meeting organised by Soho Road East Neighbourhood Watch was conducted on Monday, February 28, 2022, at King Edward VI Rose Hill School, Handsworth, Birmingham.

The event was attended by more than 250 members of the public representing the local community, various organisations, and representatives from surrounding communities across the Handsworth and Lozells area. The diverse and representative audience made up of stakeholders included residents, business owners, faith groups, volunteer action groups and community representatives, who provided valuable feedback and information on local concerns and issues.

Speaking on behalf of Soho Road East Neighbourhood Watch, Chair, Parmjit Singh said:

“We are grateful to everyone who made the effort to attend this first public meeting. The turnout was evidence enough that there are enough people in our communities that care about everyone’s welfare and the area. As a team of volunteers, we are fortunate and extremely grateful that the community has come together and empowered us to help take things forward to address the concerns that have blighted our communities for too long.

We have already made some investment in building strong local partnerships with the likes of the Soho Road Neighbourhood policing team from West Midlands Police and progress has been made along the right path. However, we need to do better and ensure that this kind of working partnership continues and have other teams and organisations helping to support the communities around us. Whilst we are grateful for the attendance of Councillor Chaman Lal and Councillor Sybil Spence, along with the other attendees, we were disappointed that despite the volunteers best efforts, other elected officials for the area, could not to attend to listen to the concerns of their constituents.

In particular, it was highlighted by attendees, that for too many years, our communities across the greater Handsworth and Lozells area have consistently been neglected and forgotten about, despite asking for help from those who represent our people in the area and other public sector organisations, all of whom are able to do something about the issue’s that the communities must deal with.

A wide-ranging number of issues were raised by the public, both verbally and on our comment cards, bringing attention to the key priorities that need to be addressed, including sex workers, housing, safeguarding for children and women, drug dealing, violent crime, anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping.

There were additional concerns over the absence of core health care facilities available to the communities, such as general practitioners, dental, social and mental health care services. When combined, all of these factors multiply the issues at an exponential rate.

Since the meeting, several partners and stakeholders have confirmed their commitments to working together with us on issues, to achieve the results that the communities wish to see. For example, constituency police Inspector Nicholas Hill, has reiterated his and his team’s commitment to listen to and address the wide-ranging issues regarding women’s safety, exempt accommodation and drug dealing.

As Soho Road East Neighbourhood Watch and other active volunteer community groups, we are dedicated to working with partners and stakeholders, ensuring that there is accountability and that there is relevant action being taken in the short-term, to help immediately address these issues. However, we are also working towards identifying longer term solutions to overall, eradicate the issues causing harm to our communities.

Currently, we are processing the significant amount of information that was collated during the meeting. There is already an action plan in development, which is evolving further with issues already being tackled. Now is the time where we, as a community, take responsibility and ensure that we see the changes that we desire, being made.

We would like to thank all those that have supported us so far; however, we will continue to need everyone’s support to get us all to where we wish to be. Finally, I would like to add that if there is someone out there who can help serve the community or help address some of these issues, please come and talk to us.”

Minutes of the meeting shall be publicly made available with copies being sent onto all partners and stakeholders to accompany this press release. The next public community safety meeting will be held in July 2022, with dates to be confirmed.

If you are a local Neighbourhood Watch or Street Watch coordinator, community or faith group leader, IAG member, or represent a community or organisation that should be involved in this initiative, or for enquiries, please contact us via e-mail on sohordeastnw@gmail.com.

Submit A Project

Submit your project using the form below, with your photos to show the issues and if or how it’s been resolved with the help of our Neighbourhood Watch. Once we’ve received your project, we will review and submit for the public to see!