AUDIO: ‘City centre car crime data does not represent entire Brum’ – WM Police

West Midlands police have said city centre crime data is not representative of the rest of the city.

In an interview with Brum Transport, Sergent Andy Gregory, crime prevention manager, West Midlands Police, explained:

“The B4 area of Birmingham has a large transient population. People come to the city centre for work, shopping, etc. Very few live there.”

Brum Transport contact the West Midlands Police after a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, filed by HONESTJOHN.CO.UK revealed that Birmingham has the 7th highest rate of car crimes in the country.

Talking about car crimes in the city centre and the transient populations, he said:

He said car crimes include not just ‘theft of the vehicles’, but also ‘theft from the vehicles’.
The data revealed by the FOI also includes break-ins, number plates being stolen and other car crimes:

To reduce car crimes, the West  Midlands Police has urged car owners to use parking facilities certified by the ‘Park Mark’ scheme – a crime reduction initiative run by the Association of Chief Police Officers:

The West Midlands region has about 300 Park Mark certified car parks, under 7 different local authorities.

Earlier this week, Brum Transport had reported about the FOI data and carried an interview with David Ross from HONESTJOHN.CO.UK 

Audio: FOI reveals Birmingham 7th highest in car crimes in UK

Data based on a Freedom of Information (FOI) request filed by HONESTJOHN.CO.UK has revealed today that Birmingham has the 7th highest rate of car crimes in the country.

While the national average is 121 offences per 10,000 vehicles, Birmingham’s car crimes rates are 2.6 times higher the national average, with 313 offences recorded per 10,000 vehicles.

Brum Transport spoke to David Ross, news cars editor, Honest John to find out more about what car owners can do keep their cars safe and reduce insurance premiums.

A press release from Honest.John.co.uk has clarified that the West Midlands police statistics do not include details of whether a vehicle was registered to a Birmingham postcode. It also does not give details of the type of car crime.

More details on vehicle crimes in the West Midlands can also be obtained from police.uk

Soon to follow: Audio interview with West Midlands police about measures being taken to reduce car crimes in the region. 

Birmingham one of the worst in the country for car crimes

Figures from the West Midlands Police show Birmingham is the 7th in a list of worst cities in the country for car crimes.

The data was released this morning by HONESTJOHN.CO.UK as a part of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request they filed with 42 police forces in the country.

Between October 2011 and September 2012, around 313 offences per 10,000 vehicles were reported in Central Birmingham. The national average is 121 offences per 10,000 vehicles.

Car crime hotspots in Birmingham

The city centre area of Birmingham is one of the hotspots for car break ins and other crimes with 1800 offences per 10,000 cars.

The West Midlands has a large number of car crime areas including Birmingham, Dudley and Wolverhampton. Central Coventry also has quite high crime rate with 434 offences recorded in its city centre.

Nationally, Manchester has the highest car crime rates, with figures at 505 crimes per 10,000 vehicles.

More details on the types of offences recorded, statistics from more than 40 police forces in the country are available on the HONEST JOHN crime segment

Soon to follow: Audio interview with David Ross, new cars editor, HONESTJOHN.CO.UK

West Midlands passengers feel the most unsafe

Bus passengers in the West Midlands feel more unsafe than in any other region, a recent report reveals.

It is the second year in a row that the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive (WMPTE) region has come out with the highest number of passengers feeling unsafe.

More than one in six respondents (17 per cent) to the Bus Passenger Survey 2013 said that the behaviour of other passengers had given them cause to worry or make them feel uncomfortable.

The independent watchdog, Passenger Focus carried out the survey for autumn 2012 in 22 regions in the country outside London. Data was collected between 23 September and 12 December, 2012 (excluding the half term holiday period).

However, with the fatal stabbing of a teenager on a bus in Birmingham earlier on 7 March, this perception of safety is likely to be even lower now.

At the second spot is the Greater Manchester region with the figure at 13 per cent.

The overall satisfaction of passengers with their journey has also fallen from 81 per cent last year to 79 per cent this year in the WMPTE region.

The number of female passengers experiencing anti-social behavior has gone up from 15 to 16 per cent. Figures about perception of security inside the buses are the same in the last two years.

Anthony Smith, Passenger Focus chief executive, has said in a press statement:

“Each year some 2.3 billion bus journeys are made in England outside of London. Passengers are not satisfied with around 375 million journeys. We hope this report will be a call to action for transport authorities and bus companies to better work together to improve things for passengers.”

Low level nuisance behaviour such as playing loud music, feet on seats, boisterous antics, smoking are some of the frequent complains, said a spokesperson from public transport authority Centro.

Phil Tonks, an independent transport consultant said:

“There is obviously work to be done on improving perceptions of local bus services. The Safer Travel Team also continues to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour on our buses. However, it is clear that other aspects of the journey experience need improvement.”

 

UPDATE: This post from Brum Transport was later published in the Birmingham Mail’s datablog Behind the Numbers

 

 

Local community and football fans pay tribute to stabbed schoolgirl

This post is a collation of the various media reports that were published within days of the incident. Links to most of the articles (that are still available online) are included here:

While her local community remembered 16 year old Christina Edkins in their Sunday prayers, football fans at the West Bromwich Albion’s Hawthorns ground joined in a minute’s round of applause.

Christina was stabbed to death on Thursday on a bus on Hagley road, here in Birmingham. The incident took place when she was on her way to school on number nine bus at about 7:30am. A post mortem has revealed that she died as a result of a single stab wound to the chest.

At Saturday’s match several members of her family were present as Christina was an avid West Brom fan and her parents Jason and Katheleen are season ticket holders. According to some media reports, her family saw this as one of the best ways to remember their daughter.

In a press statement on Friday night, the West Midlands police said that a 22 year old male suspect arrested for allegedly murdering Christina has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act. He was picked up on the basis of CCTV footage available with the police.

Detective Superintendent Richard Baker said in the statement:

“Despite this latest development, the investigation continues and we need to hear from anyone who has not yet come forward. We’re not looking for anyone else in connection with the murder. But we appeal to people to come forward with any more details they may have about the incident.”

A total of 16 passengers were travelling on the bus with Christina on Thursday and only half of them have contacted the police yet.

Christina had tweeted a month ago about a man ‘worrying’ her on the bus. She tweeted:

“This man is worrying me on the bus. Keeps getting up and walking up and down and sitting at different places.” Less than 24 hours before she was killed, she tweeted saying “why can’t nothing go right?”

The police is going through her social media profiles as a part of the ongoing investigation, but have clarified that as of now there is nothing to suggest she was being targeted.