Just some highlights from recent police meetings:
Thirty thefts or attempted thefts from vehicles, lately with nineteen occasions where items were actually taken. Satnavs are particularly popular, so please take care to remove them and their associated cables to avoid tempting thieves - even the circle on the windscreen where the bracket was fitted can be a temptation, so wipe it down! Thirty is eleven up on last month and seventeen up on last year. VWs continue to be a target, as their locks are vulnerable to brute force attacks and there have also been six break ins on vans, including a number of catalytic converters stolen from vehicles parked at a garage. It appears that the actual value of those is quite limited as stolen goods, but the damage caused is expensive to fix.
We had three incidents of damage to vehicles, one which was domestic related and one as a result of a snowball being thrown at a vehicle. Additional officers were on duty in the Green around 3pm on school days during the snow and they spent their time speaking to those involved in throwing snowballs at passing vehicles. During the cold snap, officers carried out early morning patrols watching out for vehicles left unattended with their engines running to deice. On one occasion, they found 16 of them - all vulnerable to theft and none of them insured if they had been stolen.
There's still a problem with theft of wing mirrors from the BMW Mini - an experienced thief can remove them in about half a minute and as they retail for £300, can be used to turn a quick profit. One of the PCSOs has also reported that there has been a spate of thefts of the old style Mini across the force - so look after those classic cars!
Last month saw ten burglaries, three down on last month, but three up on last year. Most of these involved forced entry through back doors or windows, some of them using the resident's own garden tools to smash through the plastic panel on the door.
There have been a number of drive-offs or 'bilkings' from the Meir Stones petrol station by the bus garage. The retail radio system used in the Green has been extended to the garage and to Lidl and this will hopefully speed up the flow of information to the police.
One concern in December was a small number of robberies around Acocks Green Recreation Ground and along Broad Road. Acting on intelligence received, a suspect has now been arrested, charged with two offences and remanded in custody. The robberies have ceased.
Finally, the police have also executed three drugs warrants on properties in Tean Close, Onslow Road and industrial premises on Reddings Lane. All three came from tips from members of the public and resulted in the confiscation of a number of cannabis plants.