People are being forced to sell up because their children do not feel safe to go out of their houses, drugs are rife and ‘people bang on doors at midnight’. There were 215 crimes recorded by police on the five roads between May 2018 and April 2019 – with violent and sexual assaults, drugs and anti-social behaviour topping the list of offences. West Midlands Police say there is an increase in demand on the police because landlords are ‘placing vulnerable people in accommodation with ex-offenders’.
Erdington MP Jack Dromey spoke at the House of Commons recently where he urged the Government to provide far more support to the police and youth services for the Stockland Green area.
He said: “We now see open drug dealing in the area. I have seen with my own eyes both those who are peddling drugs and clearly mentally ill people on the streets without supervision. I discovered one particular case of an individual who should never have been out other than under supervision, but nevertheless, they were free to walk around.
“I also see powerful testimony in my own casework. Every week we get an approach from the Slade Road area. For example, a resident on Frances Road wrote to me to say that they have had to put their property on sale because of drugs, people banging on doors at midnight.”
Mr Dromey said a constituent had reported that at least three houses on their street were used by drug dealers. He added: “If we go down the hill to the shops in Slade Road, which is the heartland of the Kashmiri community in Stockland Green, we see a similar pattern of open drug dealing and various offences.”
“For instance, one mentally ill man, released without supervision in the Slade Road area, came down the hill and assaulted five people, including a grandfather who was seriously hurt, until the police arrived – actually, one of the police officers was assaulted, too.
“Registered social landlords are importing vulnerable people into Stockland Green from all over the country, offering supported housing but without the necessary support. These include people with mental illnesses and former offenders.”
What do the police say?
David Jamieson, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “The majority of landlords do provide suitable and safe housing for their tenants.“However, in Stockland Green some landlords are placing vulnerable people in accommodation with ex-offenders. This is a safeguarding issue that I am determined to address. This has resulted in an increase in demand on the police officers who work in the area.”
“This is not something that the one agency can solve on its own and may need the government to step in and change the law.
“I am working with Jack Dromey MP and Birmingham City Council to ensure that there is more regulation around rented accommodation which will improve the safety of the vulnerable people and reduce crime.”
You can read the full article from Birmingham online here