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Town spotlight for police team

POLICE have created a new team dedicated to cutting crime in Chelmsley Wood town centre.

POLICE have created a new team dedicated to cutting crime in Chelmsley Wood town centre.

In a shake-up of neighbourhood teams in April, 13 police officers and PCSOs were made responsible for the ward.

Now two of their number - PC Steph Rolfe and PCSO Russell Hagan - have been given special responsibility for the town centre.

Starting this month, the pair have been targeting car thieves and shoplifters, who are often more active in the run-up to Christmas.

Insp Keith Portman said: “It’s important we provide a visible, reassuring presence especially in the busy pre-Christmas period; the team will support and build relationships with local retailers.

“Officers will also be tackling offenders who cause misery to vehicle owners whose property is stolen whilst they are enjoying a shopping trip to the town centre.”

The new set-up mimics the situation in St Alphege, where one team looks after the residential area, while another focuses on the town centre.

n IT’S a busy time for police based at the NEC - with almost 500,000 visitors expected to descend on the venue this month and next.

PC Chris Traves and PCSO Andy Burton have a permanent base at the exhibition centre and are getting ready to police some of the biggest events of the year.

The BBC Good Food Show and BRMB Live will pull in thousands, but the events can also be attractive to criminals. Only this year, a cache of gold and silver rings - worth around £50,000 - was stolen from an exhibitor at the NEC’s Weddings Show.

But since police have been based at the venue, the force says that crime rates are falling.

PC Traves said: “We’re in contact with NEC staff on a daily basis and will be working closely with additional police officers over the coming weeks, to monitor these high profile events and reassure visitors.”

Solihull Police have recently met NEC bosses, to discuss security measures and the venue is set to upgrade its on-site CCTV



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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