Many of the residents in Handsworth Wood will be gathering together and patrolling the streets following a series of burglaries in the area .

The residents have set up a WhatsApp Group where they can report any suspicious incidents and have become the the eyes and ears of the community.

The residents took to the streets in a bid to clamp down on crime.

Desmond Jaddoo, community activist, said: “I think this is going to be more commonplace. Due to police cuts there are less police patrolling the streets and crime has risen.

“There have been a number of burglaries in the Handsworth Wood area recently and the residents have decided to do something about it.

“They have been going round patrolling the streets and then reporting to the WhatsApp Group and police any suspicious behaviour.

“It is done responsibly without violence.

“The residents are looking out for each other and are becoming the eyes and the ears of the community.”

The Police are offering residents training in how to be part of a streetwatch group in the area and are organising a meeting allowing residents to discuss their crime concerns.

Last month, West Midlands Police chief constable David Thompson urged the public to become more “active citizens” in their communities, and act as “extra eyes, ears and – on occasion – hands” of the police.

But he stressed he would “never ask the public to do the job of police” and was not expecting people to “jump in and do dangerous things”.

Mr Thompson said: “One shift I would like to see in 2018 is the public playing a bigger role, involving the public as active citizens in their area.

“It’s not about doing the job of the police, but playing a stronger part in their communities, keeping an eye out for neighbours or mobilising and helping the police when we perhaps need a bit of assistance”.

The chief constable, who runs the largest police force outside London, said: “I’d never ask the public to do the job of the police, but there’s a lot less police.

“There’s 2,200 less police officers here in the West Midlands, since 2010.

“It’s a big reduction and I’m not surprised some of our visibility feels a bit lower in communities.”

Sgt Hayley Thompson, from the Handsworth Wood neighbourhood team, said: “We have recently established a streetwatch scheme in the area, which encourages residents to work with us to and report suspicious activity to us or relevant agency.

“We welcome active community members who want to assist in the fight against crime and the recognised way to do this in conjunction with the police is by joining street watch or setting up a formal neighbourhood watch scheme.

“We’re providing advice and training for how to do this on Thursday February 22 and would encourage anyone who wants to get involved to come along.

“It will be held at Thornhill Road police station at 7pm.

“If you would like a place please email

“We are also holding a meeting on February 24 between 5pm and 7pm at Hamstead School should anyone wish to seek advice and share concerns. “


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here