Safer 6 campaign success

Thousands of people across Sandwell’s six towns received safety, crime prevention and healthy living advice during this autumn’s Safer 6 campaign.

Nearly 700 people received security tips and freebies from Sandwell Crime Prevention Panel volunteers and West Midlands Fire Service carried out more than 300 ‘Safe & Well’ visits at people’s homes. Hundreds of students received talks at school from Sandwell Police on safety and knife crime awareness, and nearly 700 young people attended activities and ‘stay safe’ sessions organised by the council’s young people’s services.

The 10th annual Safer 6 campaign, led this year by Sandwell Council, ran for six weeks across Sandwell’s six towns. The Safer Sandwell Partnership campaign sees the council, police, fire service and a wide range of organisations working together.

They target their resources to respond to people’s concerns and provide added reassurance as the nights draw in. Each of the six towns had a focus week, and partner organisations also promoted advice and information to their followers on social media. Activities included multi-agency information roadshow events in each town, healthy living advice sessions and anti-social behaviour team surgeries, as well as estate walkabouts and door knocking visits by council neighbourhood officers, police and other partners.

Trading standards officers seized 1,179 packs of illegal cigarettes and 115 pouches of illegal hand-rolling tobacco – worth an estimated £15,000 if they had been sold legally – from four premises in Rowley Regis, Tipton and Smethwick. Investigations are ongoing.

The police, council officers and the fire service led road safety and community speed watch operations and awareness raising around school parking, seatbelts, child car seats and illegal use of mobile phones. A total of 672 people visited the Sandwell Crime Prevention Panel vehicle at various events, with volunteers giving out 529 home safety packs, 459 purse bells, 372 personal alarms and 202 Faraday cases for car fobs. And 673 young people visited Youth Bus, youth club and detached youth sessions, which had a focus on safety. Go Play Sandwell also put on activities for children and young people.

The council’s Prevent Team, together with the police and fire service, raised awareness of how to report any concerns about extremism and hate crime, while the council’s resilience unit promoted how to prepare for and respond to emergencies.

As reported last week, more than 11 tonnes of waste were cleared by offenders carrying out Community Payback and the council’s estate maintenance teams across the six towns. Litter Watch volunteers collected around 350 bags of rubbish during more than 20 litter picks, with some events supported by council neighbourhood staff, Serco, community groups and councillors.

The council’s neighbourhood teams also held a series of community skip events on estates, with residents filling skips. The council’s domestic abuse team and Black Country Women’s Aid promoted support services for victims of domestic violence and their families and the community safety team raised awareness of modern slavery and how to identify and report it. The anti-social behaviour team also led an event with police, environmental protection officers and CCTV control room staff to raise awareness of action to tackle off-road motorbikes.

Councillor Maria Crompton, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for safer communities, said: “I would like to thank everyone who has been involved, including volunteers who gave up their own time to support Safer 6. This is just a snapshot of the wide-ranging activity that’s taken place during the six-week campaign, and the results are still coming in. “It’s important we all work together to tackle issues that matter to our communities and provide information and advice on the support that’s available to help people stay safe and healthy. “Safer 6 builds on the day-to-day partnership work all year round, and also opens up further opportunities for closer working. “We’ll be looking at what worked well this year, where we can build and improve for next year and who else could get involved, as we know that tackling crime and anti-social behaviour is a top priority for people.” The campaign ran from 7 September to 20 October 2019.

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