AN INCREASED police presence helped stop disorder spreading to Solihull during the summer riots, the borough’s police commander has said.
Chief Supt, Sally Bourner, was speaking this week about how her officers responded to the summer riots, which saw carnage on the streets of Birmingham and West Bromwich.
“It’s no accident that Solihull was not affected by the disorder,” she said. “There was a very, very, robust policing presence at the time.
“We increased stop and searches, and approached the local authority to agree dispersal orders for areas like Solihull and Chelmsley Wood town centres.”
Briefing Full Council, she said neighbourhood policing in the borough remained unaffected, despite the “unprecedented” destruction in neighbouring authorities.
And she said that while many of the 700 arrested since the riots are under 23-years-old, it was only a tiny minority of young people, who were involved in the riots. “The vast majority found what was happening as abhorrent as everyone else. In Solihull, only one person under 18 has been arrested in connection with the disturbances.”
During her presentation, Chief Supt Bourner, who has been in post for seven months, also spoke about how the force would cope with the financial challenges it faced.
West Midlands Police will have to cut its budget by £126m over four years, but she said the aim was for a “leaner, more purposeful” force. One of the innovations, which has been introduced to Solihull is an “appointment” system, where people can request the best time for officers to attend non-emergency calls.