I received this press release from West Midlands Police, advertising an opening event at their Community Safety House in Brownhills. I thought it was important to share the details with readers here, who may wish to attend, or know more senior folk who would benefit from a little security advice.
This has also been advertised on the excellent blog of Kevin Pitt, Community Partnerships Officer for Walsall Police. Kevin is a really nice bloke and a top rozzer to boot. He does excellent work, and his blog is well worth a follow.
This really is a great initiative. Please attend if you can.
I guess I must be getting old, but I can remember when police lived in that house, and there was a shop the other side of the garage…
Crime busting safety house is unveiled to the public
8 June 2012
WALSALL Police will be unveiling the revamped Brownhills Community Safety House to the public on Monday 11 June 2012. Its doors will be open from 1.30pm until 4.00pm for the local community to explore the many crime prevention features on show.
The house has recently seen all of the features upgraded, with new doors, windows and alarms fitted, all of which are of police approved Secured by Design standard. This means that from the moment a member of the public steps out of their car they will be seeing the latest home security.
As well as public and partner agencies, the house will be used as a valuable training centre for all officers and PCSOs to provide them with the most up to date information to deal with their victims and empower them to make choices.
PC Darren Robbins, Crime Reduction Officer for Walsall said,” The Safety House is unique and is the first of its kind in the country. It has developed so much in recent years and has become a focal point for both police staff and partner agencies.
‘Companies are very willing to support the initiative and all the products displayed in the house are donated.
‘The Safety House will now become a centre for best practice throughout the Walsall Borough. The public and partner agencies attend crime prevention inputs at the house which means vital crime prevention messages can be fed down to their customers and clients.
‘Hopefully these inputs will influence buying decisions to purchase the best equipment and ensure their property and belongings are safe.
‘The facility is very low cost and provides a valuable facility for the local community. The house hosts every piece of Secured by Design crime prevention equipment and the public are given the opportunity to fully examine and explore these items.
‘Interest from members of the public to visit the house has increased and we now accommodate organised trips. Demand is so great we are now fully booked right up to August!”
Each year around 3000 members of the public attended the house to receive crime prevention inputs.
Darren added, ‘Out of the 3013 people that visited the house 98% stated their awareness and knowledge around crime prevention had been improved. 93% stated their fear of crime had been reduced. 98% stated they would actively review the security of their property. 100% stated they would recommend the crime prevention input to family and friends. Such positive feedback shows what a great resource the house is.’
The house was originally an old disused police house adjacent to Brownhills Police Station. It was converted into office space and opened as a Community Safety House back in 1999 by Sir Edward Crew the Chief Constable for West Midlands Police at the time.
The house was used as a base for Crime Prevention and Architectural Liaison Officers to work from along with local Neighbourhood Watch and its volunteers. The house kept a small display of crime prevention products which could be viewed by the public and was a venue for many of the local Neighbourhood Watch Meetings.
It was renamed The ‘Barbara Stringer’ Community Safety House in 2001, after a long standing volunteer Barbara Stringer who helped run the house and coordinated the Neighbourhood Watch Groups for the area.
In recent years the house has returned to its original role providing a safety house for the local community to gain helpful crime prevention advice, presentations on new safety products, demonstrations as well as a beacon for Neighbourhood Watch and Street Champions.
If anyone is interested in visiting the Safety House in the future please contact Darren Robbins at Walsall Police on the non-emergency 101 number.