Just a quick update on the policing front in Acocks Green, following the latest round of resident's meetings. Incidentally, you can keep up to date on the local neighbourhood team's public engagements here.These meetings are your chance to sit down with the local officers in your immediate area and talk about the issues that affect you. Do try to get along to the next meeting near you.
The police report that while crime is generally down in Acocks Green, there have been a few issues. Car crime - mostly theft from motor vehicles - has spiked lately, but much of this relates to theft of numberplates and a spate of thefts of wing mirrors from the new Mini. The plates are used to clone cars for use in crime or for use in petrol station forecourt drive-offs.
The Mini mirror thefts are simply because the mirrors are relatively easy to remove and fetch a good price - the BMW original part apparently retails for £300 a time, so a few thefts can prove very profitable for the offenders. There was a burst of these thefts, but they seem to have stopped lately.
The police also advise of a problem affecting thefts of BMWs, where the thieves lie in wait and when the driver leaves the vehicle and locks it using the remote fob, they use specialist equipment to capture the signal and either jam it to prevent the vehicle locking or alternatively to clone it to allow the car to be unlocked later.
The village has also seen a number of attempted purse dippings, particularly affecting our older residents, with at least one attempt stopped because of the sharp eyes of a shop assistant. We've got a good shop radio network and they do pass information between stores and to the police, so the message is that if you come to Acocks Green, we've got our eyes on you.
In other good news, eleven drug warrants have been executed in recent weeks in Acocks Green, shutting down four cannabis factories and removing over 100 fully-grown plants. Two people have been arrested in relation to offences relating to the supply of cannabis. In one, they found some outbuildings converted to a factory. The police say that where the producers used to use large properties or even factory units to produce cannabis on an industrial scale, they are now using multiple smaller locations to protect their crop against police activity.
The police need your help - these warrants all arose out of community information and they ask that you keep your eyes and nose open. Signs include permanently closed upstairs curtains, a strong smell of cannabis, excessive condensation, strange patterns of activity or people moving unusual equipment in, often at odd hours. If you see anything suspicious, you can either let the police know directly or call - anonymously - Crimestoppers on 0800 555 1111.
More generally, the police have offered some general crime prevention advice - make sure that you keep windows closed and back doors locked. The most recent burglary in this area was through an open window. In this current hot weather, if you must keep a window open, make sure that it is a high one and well away from a flat roof or drainpipes. As always, don't leave items on display - make sure that you even remove the satnav holder from the car, as thieves will break into vehicles assuming that the satnav itself is hidden in the glove compartment.