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An analysis of police.uk data has shown that there were 24 fewer crimes reported in Selly Oak between September 2014 and January 2015 in comparison to between September 2013 and January 2014.
Following a sudden spate of armed robberies in Selly Oak in March 2014, this is welcome news. Reported burglaries in Selly Oak have fallen by over a third, whilst violent and sexual offences remain at around the same level. Overall, there were 52 fewer reported burglaries and 2 more reported violent and sexual offences.
In comparison, the amount of reported crime in the area covering the University of Birmingham campus and The Vale has seen an increase. 188 crimes have been reported in the area, in comparison to 140 in the same period of the previous academic year. Both burglaries and violent & sexual offences have seen an increase. In addition, 89 bicycle thefts have been reported in the same area since September.
Jack Mably, the current Guild Vice President (Housing & Community) and incoming President, told Redbrick: ‘It is fantastic news that crime again has seen a significant reduction and a testament to all the hard work put in through joint initiatives from the West Midlands Police & the Guild of Students. All this year we have been incorporating a lot of the crime prevention work we do into the housing campaigns and also into the newly formed Community Week; the increased amount of joint patrols and extra hours put in by the police force have also helped people feel safer in the local area. I’d like to thank the West Midlands Police for co-operation with the Guild on such issues. Looking forward, we are continuing to look at new ways to tackle robberies and bike thefts and we are working with the University to ensure the continued protection of student safety in Halls of Residence’
The West Midlands Police have been particularly targeting potential burglars through their Operation Intrusive. The Operation can be associated with the reduction in the number of burglaries in Selly Oak. A spokesperson from the West Midlands Police said ‘Overall we have seen a reduction in crime in the area, compared with last year and are continuing our efforts to make sure this trend continues. We are aware of issues at the University and student accommodation blocks at the Vale and Tennis Courts. In particular we saw an increase in theft and burglary offences for the months of December and January. Since this time we have conducted a number of policing operations which led to the arrest and charge of an individual with a number of burglary offences at the student accommodation blocks. They are currently remanded in custody.
‘In relation to the theft of pedal cycles we also conducted a number of tracking operations which also led to several people being arrested and I am pleased to report we have seen a large decrease in crime since these arrests, and our enquiries into those crimes continue. Finally, a small number of hate crime offences have been committed at the University where Anti-Islamic graffiti has been found at various locations. These matters are being investigated.’
A University spokesperson, commenting on the amount of crime on campus and The Vale, said ‘While this increase is regrettable, it is important to remember that the University is home to more than 32,000 students and our campus remains, by any comparison, a very safe place to be. The University security team is on duty 24-hours a day, backed up by campus patrols and CCTV. We also work in close partnership with West Midlands Police to ensure the safety of staff and students on and off campus. Measures include a dedicated campus police officer, a regular Police Surgery held on campus, crime prevention roadshows and safety campaigns.
‘Simple crime prevention measures can help prevent most burglaries and cycle thefts. Students should visit the UB Safe crime prevention page of the Security website for useful advice or visit the police surgery in University Centre on Wednesdays 12.00 – 15.00.’