Volunteer crime fighters shortlisted for police award

A group of volunteer crime fighters in Shirley, which has confronted drug dealers, recovered weapons from parksandpatrolled the streetshavebeen nominated for an award by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner. 


Shirley Street Watch, which is comprised of twelve volunteers,startedtheir work inShirleyin January and have spent hundreds of hours tackling anti-social behaviour and reassuring the community. 


In May 2018 they spent more than 100 hours confronting drug dealers, reporting drink drivers and working with other agencies in tackling the problems in their neighbourhood. 


The volunteersdon't just help to tackle crime, theyalso get involved withlitter picks. Theyhave returned stolen trolleys to supermarkets and called on the council to fix problems such as broken bollards, fly tipping and unlocked park gates. 


The West MidlandsPolice and Crime Commissioner,David Jamieson,said: "The Street Watch team are a real asset to the community in Shirley. They are a fine example of a group of active citizens who want to make positive changes.   


"Many of them do this on top of their careers andfull timejobs in order tomake a difference.  

"What is all the more remarkable is justtwelve months ago they didn't know each other and now they are a highly successful force for change." 


Patrols are conducted in pairs and the Shirley teamworkmost days of the week. Members of the public have given high praise to thegroupfor the workthey do keeping the area safe.  


VolunteerChris Smith,said: "In just 6 months we have seen anti-social behaviour drop considerably in Shirley. The drug dealers have stopped doing their trade from the car parks. You also no longer see the laughing gascanisters which used to litter the streets. 


"As well as the crime prevention work,I'm really proudwe have been able to help and support so many homeless people and findsomewhere warmfor themto stay." 


Shirley Street Watch will continue to work closely with their local policing team to tackle anti-social behaviour, drug dealing, drink driving and much more. 


The Outstanding Citizens Awards take place on 5th July.