Projects to keep young people safe were at the top of the list as Sandwell’s Safer 6 campaign swung into action in Oldbury.
Clean-ups also saw rubbish cleared by offenders as well as volunteer litter picks.
Each of Sandwell’s six towns has a focus week during the six-week Safer 6 campaign, which promotes safety, crime prevention and healthy living to all ages.
Oldbury Local office held an information roadshow in Oldbury Civic Square, which saw a wide range of Safer Sandwell partner organisations promoting the services and support they offer.
More than 70 pupils from Christ Church C of E Primary School came along, learning about safety. They even got the chance to sit in a police car and fire engine and climb aboard the Youth Bus and Eco Bus.
Among the Oldbury week’s many highlights:
- Nearly 70 young people attended Staying Safe workshops run by the council’s young people’s services team – on the Burnt Tree estate, Brook Road, by Rounds Green Library and at Langley Youth Club – which covered anything from personal safety to the dangers of drugs.
- Police – supported by the fire service, schools and Deputy Mayor of Sandwell Councillor Carol Goult – launched the ‘Bin the Knife: Save a Life’ wristbands project. Wristbands are being distributed to thousands of students in local schools to encourage solidarity against carrying knives. Police also encouraged people to dispose of knives in the weapons surrender bin at Sainsbury’s Oldbury.
- Nearly 40 children enjoyed Go Play Sandwell’s Let’s Play sessions at Bleakhouse Library, Rounds Green Library and Brades Green play area.
- Offenders doing unpaid Community Payback put in 110 hours, clearing nearly 1.7 tonnes of rubbish and overgrown trees and bushes at the old Beeches Road allotment site and in Groveland Road.
- Sandwell Crime Prevention Panel volunteers and police gave advice to shoppers visiting Sainsbury’s Oldbury, Oldbury Civic Square and ASDA Oldbury. They talked to more than 300 people, handing out 266 property marking packs, 240 purse bells, 151 card protector sleeves, 122 Faraday pouches for car key fobs and 86 personal attack alarms. Sandwell Police also signed up people to their WMNow email messages.
- Oldbury Local, police and councillors held community speedwatch operations on roads in Langley, Oldbury, Bristnall and Old Warley wards, checking the speeds of hundreds of vehicles and issuing warnings to more than 20 found to be speeding.
- Police held a road safety operation at Birchley Island, stopping more than 20 vehicles. Two vehicles were seized for insurance and licence issues, one was issued with prohibition notice for bald tyres.
- Oldbury Local and council anti-social behaviour officers chatted to residents and raised awareness of community safety on the Lion Farm estate and at Lancaster House. Anti-social behaviour officers also joined environmental protection officers dealing with complaints about parking in New Henry Street. Police issued anti-social behaviour warning letters to 19 people in the Brandhall area.
- Council trading standards and neighbourhoods officers, the fire service and police held white goods safety roadshows and delivered advice letters to residents at Lancaster House, Heronville House, Paget House and Wryley House. The fire service also carried out 29 ‘Safe and Well’ checks at these flats to advise on smoke alarms, fire safety and general wellbeing.
- Litter Watch volunteers carried out litter picks in Pinfold Street and Lion Farm estate, collecting 23 bags of litter.
- Council domestic abuse officers and Black Country Women’s Aid provided advice at the Oldbury Civic Square roadshow and visited local hairdressers to raise awareness of support available.
- Road safety officers gave safety tips to pupils at Rounds Green Primary School.
- A surgery for residents with police and council neighbourhoods officers was held at Rounds Green Library.
- The anti-slavery van was in Oldbury Civic Square to encourage people to spot the signs of slavery and human trafficking and know how to report these issues.
- A walkabout was held in the Broadwell Road/Flash Road area raising awareness to residents about potential rogue traders.
- The council’s private sector housing team promoted advice for tenants and landlords about empty homes at an information stand in the main foyer of Sandwell Council House, Oldbury.
Councillor Suzanne Hartwell, Oldbury town chair, said: “I would like to thank everyone who contributed to these results, including all the organisations and volunteers involved. Safer 6 is all about providing extra information and reassurance to residents, to help them feel safer and let them know all the support that’s available in Sandwell.”