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Police pledge speed crackdown

Posted on March 26 2006 at 8:28:52

The police have promised to tackle speeding through Alvechurch village as part of a community partnership initiative.

Traffic problems topped a poll of villagers’ concerns along with anti-social behaviour by some teenagers and the lack of effective beat policing to tackle it. Police said they would be reporting back on their progress in two months.

The issues were raised at the first Partners and Communities Together (PACT) meeting in the village at Alvechurch Social Club.

Sgt Mark Ashford, of B Division, told villagers that crime had fallen every year since 1995, yet two thirds of people believe crime is rising.

“This lack of confidence and security is damaging local communitites, “ he added, explaining that PACT aimed to help to ease fears.

He introduced PC Lucy Thornton as the beat manager for Alvechurch, although he admitted that this role was in addition to also being the beat manager for Wythall. Budgetary constraints restricted the availability of beat officers.

When asked why the village couldn’t have an officer living there, as used to happen, Sgt Ashford said: “That isn’t going to happen.”

Villagers were then asked to highlight their main concerns, which were then listed and voted on.

Many of the complaints came under the banner of “problems with teenagers”, ranging from “general wanton destruction”, to “abuse of churchyards”, “vandalism at schools and library”, “under-age drinking” and “fires in Tanyard Lane car park”.

There was also the general view that effective, visible beat policing would solve this.

One resident asked: “Why is it not possible for a beat policing system to be reintroduced or at least a police-on-the-street presence be shown at times when officers would otherwise not be involved in active police work?”

There was also a wide consensus that traffic was still using the village as a rat run, despite the bypass. There were particular problems with speeding traffic on either side of the village traffic calming – Redditch Road and Swan Street, to the south, and Birmingham Road to the north.

Residents also complained about traffic speeding down Snake Lane, Tanyard Lane and Bear Hill.

There were also complaints of cars parking in village centre time-restricted spaces all day instead of the one hour allowed and also untaxed cars being “stored” in Tanyard Lane car park, taking up spaces for villagers.

The three issues voted top of “action” issues for the police to work on were: Beat policing, speeding traffic and teenagers late at night.

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