Local people working in the south Birmingham suburb of Druids Heath have come together to help residents reclaim their neighbourhood from abusive and intimidating youths.
Staff from the bus company National Express, the local supermarket and the local school, all played a key role in providing witness statements to support Birmingham City Council in its applications for Anti-Social Behaviour Orders against four individuals
On the 23rd May, District Judge Zara granted two year ASBOs against all four individuals. The ASBOs will prevent them from entering the Druids Heath area specifically around Pound Road including the local school and shops.
Led by Birmingham Community Safety Partnership, for over 18 months officers from West Midlands Police, the City Council and National Express have been working together to try and tackle the aggressive behaviour which had been causing a real feeling of fear in the local community. The complaints included youths gathering in groups being abusive, threatening and causing damage to local shops and buses, daubing graffiti, aggressively throwing snowballs and being hostile towards police officers when approached about their behaviour.
The four recipients of the ASBOs had all been responsible for the majority of anti-social behaviour in the Druids Heath neighbourhood and on the bus network that serves that area.
Evidence taken from the buses via CCTV and bus driver statements were crucial in assembling the cases for the ASBO applications.
The impact of this behaviour meant staff members leaving their jobs as a result of the harassment, bus drivers moving to new routes and residents being unable to use local facilities through fear of encountering these individuals when part of the group.
ACC Sharon Rowe, Chair of Birmingham Community Safety Partnership commented:
“This is a really good example of how working in partnership gets results. I applaud the actions of those who made a stand against the disgraceful behaviour of tear-away youths that inflicted all manner of misery on the community.
Our job would have been much more difficult had law-abiding locals not been so willing to speak-out. I would like to thank them for their courage and determination to create a better neighbourhood. Criminal acts and anti-social behaviour should not have to be tolerated by decent people trying to live their day-to-day lives in peace.”
Peter Coates, Managing Director, National Express West Midlands said:
“We take Anti Social Behaviour on our buses very seriously and as a result of the action we have taken this has fallen by 65% in the last five years. Incidents of serious crime on the bus are few and far between but we know that our customers want those taking part in Anti Social Behaviour to be punished. We are delighted to have worked in partnership with the police and the council to get this result.”