Preet Kaur Gill, MP for Birmingham Edgbaston, and West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, are proud to announce that Quinton and Bartley Green will receive dedicated Police sergeants in a first step to tackling rising crime rates.
Over the past ten years residents across Edgbaston Constituency (including Quinton, Bartley Green, Harborne, Edgbaston and North Edgbaston) have felt the direct impact of cuts to local Police forces with crime increasing across key indicators. Burglary has increased by 11%, knife crime by 29% and vehicle crime by 16% all in the last 12 months.
The Conservative Government has cut 20,000 officers nationally and this has filtered down to the West Midlands where £175 million has been cut from Policing budgets and over 2,000 officers have been taken off the streets. Locally, this has meant Quinton and Bartley Green have been forced to share a Policing team.
However, thanks to the collective and ongoing efforts of Preet Kaur Gill, Simon Foster and the support of local Labour Party candidates for Quinton Lauren Rainbow and Sam Forsyth, Quinton will see a new and dedicated Police Sergeant, Bushra Zarif, who will join the ward with Bartley Green retaining Sergeant Mark Short.
Preet Kaur Gill, MP for Birmingham Edgbaston said, “After campaigning for this change to our Police team for a number of years, I’m delighted to welcome Sergeant Zarif to Quinton and to retain Sergeant Short in Bartley Green.
“Crime has drastically increased over the last decade, but it is our Police officers on the ground that are vital in tackling this. I’ve spent time challenging the number of officers we have available across the constituency, both at a national and regional level to ensure we begin to address this deficit. This has involved many conversations with operational Police teams and our Police and Crime Commissioner. It’s fantastic to see this positive end result.”
Simon Foster, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner said, “I’ve pledged 450 additional neighbourhood police officers to rebuild community policing. We are making progress and so far, we have delivered nearly half of that pledge. The West Midlands needs preventative, proactive, problem solving and visible policing out on the streets keeping people, their families and communities safe.
“Violent crime has flourished thanks to a decade of reckless government cuts. My plan will help prevent and tackle violent crime. My 450 neighbourhood officers will make a real difference. However, despite the increase in officer numbers, by 2023 we will still be 1,000 officers short of the offices we had in 2010. That is why I have launched a campaign that seeks cross-party support, to require the government to return our 1,000 missing officers and to provide fair funding for the West Midlands.”
Lauren Rainbow and Sam Forsyth are both Labour’s candidates for Quinton in the upcoming local elections in May following the retirement of Cllr Kate Booth. They said, “We fully support these positive changes that are being brought to Quinton by the collective efforts of our local MP and the Police and Crime Commissioner. It is exciting to see what can be achieved when the Police are backed by a strong Labour team that supports our local Police teams. If elected in May, we will work closely with both Preet and Simon to support plans to return our community to the proper neighbourhood policing it deserves.”