Andrew Mitchell MP meets with West Midlands Chief Constable David Thompson over “serious concerns” about crime in the Royal Town.
Andrew Mitchell MP has met Dave Thompson, Chief Constable of the West Midlands Police, to discuss the recent spate of car thefts across the Royal Town. Also on the agenda were the proposals to close down the Police Station in Sutton Coldfield to which the Chief Constable assured Andrew that there were not yet any ‘concrete plans’, but claimed that the station as it stands is considered unviable for use by the Police.
One of the key concerns raised by the Member of Parliament was the lengthy Police response times. Andrew cited a recent horrifying experience from a constituent who had to wait four hours for officers to arrive as he stared at a gang of potential suspects. In response, the Chief Constable gave cast-iron assurances that Sutton Coldfield had been assigned a high-priority area for the Police and that changes had been made operationally to ensure improved Police response times.
Dave Thompson went further to explain that the numerous car thefts were connected through organised crime with several criminal enterprises involved. However, Mr Thompson was keen to stress that there had been a string of successes and breakthroughs by the Police Force lately with a recent raid on a city industrial unit which discovered a “chop shop” (where stolen vehicles are taken apart and resold) and a cannabis factory hidden inside. In the past few months, hundreds of arrests have been made and a number of suspects are due to go on trial this month.
The arrests have been particularly helpful in gathering intelligence which has illuminated the criminal organisations’ structures and supply chains as well as identifying key decision makers and offenders.
Following the meeting, Andrew said:
“I am grateful to the Chief Constable for visiting Sutton Coldfield to explain more about the work that is going on to keep my constituents safe. I have been told that the Police Force is doing everything they can to bring these criminals to justice.
However, there are a number of measures my constituents can also take to keep themselves safe.
“Any of my constituents that own a car with keyless entry can achieve additional protection by purchasing a faraday pouch which will protect their cars from relay attack devices which ‘replicate’ the key from outside the home. A good old-fashioned wheel lock can also be a surprisingly strong deterrent.”