Crime in Goosemoor Lane, Erdington UK

Goosemoor Lane Crime -2001 - 7
(Unofficial crime news 2001-6 for Goosemoor Lane, Short Heath, Erdington, Birmingham, B23, United Kingdom)

Crime 2007 - present

Girl's Bike Found - Gravelly Lane
(This had probably been stolen) A small purple girl's bike was found dumped on Gravelly Lane near the Rose And Crown on Sunday night (9/12/2007). Handed in to Erdington Police Station.

Fire - Station Road - Arson - Update - Alley Now Secure
A major fire occurred on Sunday morning (6/5/2007). The disused florist shop by the bridge. Road was closed off. Everyone was ok.

The little-used footpath there (which I think leads to Mona Road) was often being used by vandals and burglars to attack the adjacent vacant ex-florist property which was unsecure. They gained access and started the fire.

The alley has been gated now though - see if that works.

Click here for two pictures taken at the time.

Goosemoor Alley Now Secure
After a number of complaints, the alley at the rear of the even-side of Goosemoor Lane between about 100 and 156 is secure again, pad-locked at three points. I'm always told that keys are available from the Neighbourhood Office on Sutton New Road, in practise it seems residents have problems obtaining them.

Women "Reclaim The Night" - Sandwell
From the website

"Sandwell Organisation Against Domestic Abuse (SOADA) has organised a Reclaim the Night march which is taking place Sunday 25th November. It will be a short march through Oldbury starting at 4pm. The meeting place will be Sandwell Council Staff Car Park (behind Sandwell Council House) Dudley Road (A457) Oldbury.

If you are interested in sending out the message that 'women have a right to walk the streets at night and be free from violence' come and join us!! THIS MARCH IS FOR WOMEN ONLY. Please let us know if you are joining us so we can be aware of numbers. Bring posters, banners, whistles and warm clothing.

The first Reclaim the Night took place in 1976 in Belgium. The march usually consists of women only, who aim to protest against male sexual violence and abuse towards women, encourage a wider community response to violence against women, promote women’s strength and survival and encourage society to work towards a safer environment for women and children.

The title Take Back the Night is also used, which was taken from the title of a memorial read at an anti-violence rally in Pittsburgh by an Anne Pride. Reclaim the Night/Take Back the Night marches have taken place all over the world, however the first march to take place in England was in 1977 which took place in Leeds in response to the Ripper murders.

After hearing of Feminist demonstrations in Germany, hundreds of women took to the streets in Leeds singing their protest against being told women must stay in at night due to the Ripper murders.

More recently in 2006 a march was organised in Ipswich as a response to the murder of five prostitutes. Today, Take Back the Night and Reclaim the Night marches are carried out to encompass all forms of violence against women in general and aim to raise awareness of violence against women such as domestic abuse."

(Sorry about the too late notice with this - appeared in the Press very late). Probably needs to be one of these in Birmingham but I'm afraid these tend to be too ideological in my opinion to be much use).

I'd have have attended to network with marchers but of course, men are banned - so that's that.

The Women's Section on Links Page is very big now.

(Flippant - they should get those modern female icons the footballers' WaGs to go along. They'd be so so much flashing light from glitzy jewellery and Paparazzi camera-flashes etc following Posh Spice and Colleen etc around it'd be like daylight!)

College High School - Birmingham Teacher Banned For Making Dirty Films
From the Evening Mail;

A BIRMINGHAM PE teacher with more than 30 years' experience has been banned from the classroom for life after making "totally inappropriate" videos of himself on school premises during school hours.

Colin Bick, who taught at The College High School, in College Road, Erdington, from 1974 until his resignation last year, was found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct by a General Teaching Council committee.

It was told that West Midlands Police raided the home of Bick, aged 55, and seized his computer following an allegation that he had illegal material stored on it.

Although police discovered eight movies and 12 still photographs, the material was not considered unlawful as it did not contain images of children.

But panel chairman Anne Garner said they viewed the case with "extreme gravity" and found Bick, who was not present at the hearing, guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.

She said: "The taking of totally inappropriate images on school premises is completely unacceptable, but particularly during school hours shows a complete lack of integrity and a serious breach of trust.

"It also shows a massive error of judgement and brings the teaching profession into serious disrepute."

The prohibition order means Bick is no longer able to register as a teacher, although theoretically he can apply to rejoin the profession after five years. But Mr Yusuf Segovia, for the GTC, said Bick accepted that he was unlikely to ever be able to teach again.

The teacher, who resigned in May last year, said the recordings, one of which was in a toilet area, were made in his 'free time' behind locked doors.

Mr Segovia said: "It is not professional to record that sort of material on school premises, and in school hours, ever.

"There is no guarantee whatsoever that there could not have been the possibility of someone walking in on him at any point."

Bick could not be contacted for comment. No-one was immediately available for comment from The College High School.

Stabbing On Jarvis Road - 4.50pm On 6/11/2007 - Police Appeal For Witnesses
From the BBC website;

"A 33-year-old man has been stabbed in the neck in an attack outside a block of flats in Birmingham. Emergency crews were called to Berkley House, in Jarvis Road, Erdington, at about 1650 GMT on Tuesday.

The man, who has not been named, was taken to hospital and is said to be in a stable condition. Police said they were looking for three men in connection with the incident. They were all described as black and wore dark hoodies."

(Berkley House is the 2nd block up from Gravelly Lane).

Cayton Grove  - Still Yet More Trouble
The cul-de-sac in the far corner of the Top Croft Estate - bounded by the allotments and the Park. Kids from the estate (and further afield) are still regularly being a nuisance by entering or damaging front and back gardens etc. House windows have been put through too. The area has many rat-runs where they can evade police, unlike much of the estate where such alleys have been gated. The trees in that corner of the Park provide much cover and it's fence is not high or secure enough either.

We've also now the problem of drunken youths gathering in the evening on the land between the Jarvis Road and Top Croft estates (specifically on the old pavilion/polling-station) brickwork and attacking passersby - at least one of whom has been hospitalised.

It should be pointed out though that many kids play in that small wooded area of the Park without being a problem.

I gather there are no plans to improve the specific fencing by there in the current work.

Proposed CCTV On Top Croft
Residents need to start thinking about where to place any cameras that go up (CCTV is planned but has not yet been decided if it will go ahead).

e.g. One at the junction with Goosemoor Lane would capture ALL road vehicles entering and leaving the estate. However in other parts of the city there have been problems and issues with unauthorised viewing of women through their windows etc.

(Tip - residents DON'T need to be getting side-tracked into the endemic wider argument of "Orwell govt watching us versus scumbags running riot"-type debating of the issue like it's an episode of Newsnight - especially when the sinister Michael Howard isn't a Birmingham MP. You'll find if the CCTV is put up it will be NO panacea to crime on the estate anyway - look how much CCTV there is in every town centre now which doesn't stop all the weekend drunken havoc - and the debate should be in THAT context, that the CCTV should form just part of a wider strategy. Sion Simon MP is the guy not pulling his weight in the area - fail to make HIM pay for that and you'll get the same as you do now - and he'll still be there doing nothing. And see the News Page for how much he's raking in).

Useful Thorn Bush - Hawthornbrook Way
Official Home Office advice is that you should plant thorn-bushes around the perimeter of your garden to deter/stop intruders.

A nice big bushy and prickly one is growing wild in a public area on Hawthornbrook Way (opposite the Greyhound pub on Court Lane). Walk up about 100 yds to the bend by the cemetery gates and you'll see it on the left. Cut bits off and plant them in your garden etc (take thick gloves!) Cheaper than visiting B & Q etc.

Any complaints etc - send them to the Home Office (the complaints that is not the thorn bush).

Lamp 17 Out - Causing Problems
(See News Page for wider lamp news). This lamp on Goosemoor Lane on the even-side by the Kirkwood Avenue junction is out and - as often happens when a lamp is out on the road - some joker(s) on Sunday nights uses the temporary darkness at that location to throw into the road several full bin-bags left on the pavements by residents.

Obvious traffic hazard and a litter nuisance if they are then hit by cars etc (some cars presently have to use main-beam headlights on some stretches as it is - when a lamp is out the last thing motorists need is obstructions thrown into the road).

As I say, when a lamp is out we often get that with bin-bags on Goosemoor Lane and it happened again on Sun 28/10/2007 due to Lamp 17 being out.

The Council are aware but haven't fixed it and MAY simply be waiting for the new lamps to solve the overall issue. See if it does.

Police Search For Good Samaritan/Witness - Witton Lodge Road
From the Sutton News website;

"A Good Samaritan who helped the victim of an alleged sex attack in Erdington is being sought by police. The man came to the woman's aid and gave her a lift home when she said she had been sexually assaulted. He found the 19-year-old in Witton Lodge Road between 4am and 4.30am on Sunday (14/10/2007).

A 36-year-old man has been charged with a serious sexual assault on the woman and appeared before Sutton magistrates on Tuesday.

But police want to trace the Good Samaritan saying he may have vital information which would help with the inquiry.

They want the man, or anyone who knows who he is, to contact detectives at Sutton Coldfield on 0845 113 5000."

Police Walkabout On The Top Croft Estate
From Erdington Conservatives;

"Last week we had a walkabout the estate with local police and Council officers to look at areas that had recently been suffering from anti-social behaviour and crime.

Following this the police have agreed to ask officers to carry out more regular visits to the estate.

In addition the topic of CCTV, first raised by a petition from us to the Council, was discussed the Council have agreed to look at the feasibility of installing this to the estate and entrance on Goosemoor Lane.

Finally Cllr Robert Alden asked about finding a solution to stop the pigeons nesting in the maisonettes. Officers from the Council agreed to go away and find out the costings regarding doors for the main stair cases to prevent the birds getting in. This is important as pigeons are carriers of disease and can be very dangerous to resident's health."

(Attempted) Burglary/Trespass - Back Gardens Around Number 150 etc To Park On Goosemoor Lane
Friday afternoon, 5/10/2007 around 2.30pm. Police called via 999, arrived quickly and searched but I don't know the outcome.

3 white youths aged 18-19 (with a pit-bull type dog) - checking the back gardens from the alley at the back. One (without the pit-bull) tried to climb over into a back garden and either failed as too high a stone wall (or saw a guard-dog in the garden whilst climbing over - one was in there at the time), and climbed back down and they moved on up towards the Park (perhaps to check out other back gardens or even enter them etc).

Check your CCTV etc if you have it.

They might have been checking/entering other back gardens along that alley beforehand too of course.

(It seems we have a problem in that alleyway with this - it is supposed to be secure but isn't).

A reminder not to leave valuables in (insecure) back gardens, plant thorn bushes round the perimeter, and take special care if your back garden is at a road junction as it is then accessible and visible to pedestrians passing on the pavement too.

St Barnabas Church - Erdington - Destroyed By Fire - (Suspected Arson)
Dreadful news - the one opposite Woolworths on the High Street. Gutted. Thursday early morning 4/10/2007. Arson is suspected. More;

Speeding Caused By Roadworks
The roadworks on Court Lane and Station Road are causing rat-runs where cars are speeding down side road. Council know and will inform police etc.

Cable-Box Busted Open - Gravelly Lane - Fixed
Near the junction with South Grove and on that side.

Virgin Stickers All Over The Area
Someone has stuck loads of Virgin Media website stickers all over lamp-posts etc in the area rather than just on the Cable Boxes - anyone got Richard Branson's email address? I might go around and stick a load of Goosemoor Lane Website stickers on their Small Heath HQ. Two can play at that game.

Busted Open Cable Box - Goosemoor Lane - Fixed
Down by the Rose and Crown car-park and on that side - cut wires were all over the place inside it too. Fixed now.

Burglaries In The Area - Police Info
From a West Midlands Police leaflet handed out on some Erdington roads in this immediate area (which includes Sutton Coldfield),

"You have been sent this letter as part of an operation across the policing area to tackle and prevent the rise in insecure burglaries we traditionally suffer from over the Summer months.

The warmer weather we have been promised is finally here and as a result you may be tempted to leave more windows and doors open and unattended, especially at night which is tempting to opportunistic thieves.

Last year (April 06 - March 07) nearly one fifth of burglaries across the command unit were as a result of an insecure window or door meaning 202 offences could have been prevented.

Officers are currently carrying out operations focusing on security around vulnerable premises as well as targeting offenders.

Extra hi-visibility patrols are being conducted at key times and days targeting any home which is seen to be insecure (rear and front windows, doors, porches, garages, fences etc) in which case the resident will be spoken to or crime prevention information will be left.

We have also established a policy of waking residents up during the night if their house or car is seen to be insecure to alert them to their vulnerability.

Crime across the Sutton Coldfield Operation Command Unit for the period 1st April to 30th June has fallen by over 17% when compared to the same period last year and we desire to maintain this reduction. We have had particular successes in reducing levels of vehicle crime and criminal damage. We are by no means complacent in our success - everyone has a part to play in the fighttt against crime.

By following some of the crime prevention tips below you may prevent you from becoming a victim.

1. Always lock your front door from inside in particular UPVc front doors are often left unlocked when people are in their house and offenders know this and will try UPVc doors to check if they are an easy point of access.

2. Lock all doors (including side gates and fences) at night and when you are out of the house.

3. Only have ground floor windows open if you are to be in that room for a period of time.

4. Don’t leave back doors open if you are to be upstairs for any length of time as burglars often gain access to people's property from rear gardens.

5. Do not leave upstairs windows open when you are going out.

6. Make sure all gardening equipment and ladders are locked away securely when you are not using them - thieves may use these to break into your home.

7. Try not to leave valuable items, like your TV, hi-fi, video or DVD, where thieves can see them.

8. Mark belongings visibly and permanently with your postcode and house number."

Bus Stop Whacked
(This might've been an accident - but I doubt it!) Somebody or something has whacked the stick bus-stop on Court Lane at the junction with Goosemoor Lane opposite the Spinney. It now leans and another is in it's place.

Presumable the bent one will be removed at some point (a similar situation on Witton Lodge Road has existed for some time though).

Norfolk Road Wall Whacked
(Again unsure what has caused this) A front garden wall has been knocked in at the junction of Norfolk Road and Gravelly Lane - considerable impact whatever happened to it.

Car Vandalised - Stones Green
Early morning, Friday 27/7/2007. Car was parked on a driveway in Stones Green (off Jarvis Road) when one of it's rear tyres was slashed with what was believed to be a knife.

Sion Simon MP And Drugs
He's admitted to smoking cannabis in his youth - I'll leave you work out whether his vacant expressions, silly grinning and laid-back approach to solving Erdington's problems suggest he might still be doing it!

Bike Found - Kirkwood Avenue - Two Bikes Stolen On Kirkwood Avenue
Tuesday 3/7/2007 around 7.30pm - a black mountain bike was found abandoned on Kirkwood Aveue near the Goosemoor Lane junction. Handed in to Erdington Police Station. In a separate incident recently, two bikes were stolen on Kirkwood Avenue and one was found abandoned near the Top Croft shop (the one found on Kirkwood Avenue on Tuesday wasn't the other one stolen and still missing from there).

The Kirkwood Avenue area does seem a "dumping ground" for stolen bikes - has happened before.

Report Of A Car Broken Into - Goosemoor Lane
Up by the Woodyard Thu/Fri 28-29/6/2007. Scant other details.

Great Barr Observer/Sutton Coldfield Observer - "Safe And Secure" Pull-outs
Both of these free newspapers had a free pull-out from West Midlands Police about this area. Parts of them are online too;

`The Sutton Coldfield Operational Command Unit (OCU), is made up of Sutton Coldfield, Castle Vale, Kingstanding and North Erdington. "I hope that you find this pull-out on your local neighbourhood police teams useful. I am pleased to inform you that crime continues to fall in all areas of this command unit. "We have achieved this by working with you, our community, our partners and businesses to ensure that issues that affect you most are properly dealt with.

"This includes the serious crimes that you would expect us to deal with, but also those crimes that cause annoyance and affect your quality of life, such as anti-social behaviour, graffiti and general nuisance.

"As an example of our achievements, for the year to date (Starting in April), we have reduced overall crime by 18 per cent.

"That in reality means 615 fewer victims of crime for our area.

"We will continue, unrelenting in our aim to reduce crime even further and work with our partners to improve the quality of life for the people who live, work and travel through our area.

"In September 2006 we launched neighbourhood policing, meaning that the neighbourhood where you live is now policed by a dedicated team of officers focusing on local issues that matter to you.

"There are ten teams in total, made up of police officers, police community support officers, special constables and volunteers.

"Since the launch we have been working hard with our partners including the local authority, MPs, councillors, housing and businesses to improve the quality of life within our neighbourhoods.

"What I really want though is for you to have a real say in policing and influencing your neighbourhood teams about what you think is important.

"I would encourage you to get in contact with your local team either by phone or email and let us know your concerns.

"This supplement will tell you about your neighbourhood team and how you can get in contact with them, alternatively you can also visit our website

"I want you to know your neighbourhood team and to tell them what you think is important in policing your area.

"It is very important that you influence the way we police your neighbourhood and for you to have your say in what are the priorities for you and your families.

"Thank you for your continuing support."

Chief Superintendent Russell Smith.'

Balcony Glass Being Shattered - Jarvis Road
A bit of a "sport" seems to have developed where youths are smashing the glass on the balconies of the tower-blocks with rocks etc as they walk past. Most recent example was Wed 18/4/2007 around 6pm. Stokesay House. Several have been smashed.

Westland Close/South Grove (Attempted) Burglaries - Quieter
The apartment complexes down by Gravelly Lane (opposite the post office). We were having problems with burglaries, attempted burglaries and car-crime by it's garages last year. There was some suspicion that some of the offenders live within the blocks and repeat targetting certain residents. Police were made aware of  this activity.

Reports of it being much quieter down there now.

Mini Wrecking Spree - Gravelly Lane
(Usually on weekend evenings) we get wrecking sprees along Gravelly Lane and the bus shelter and phone-box down by the post office had much of their glass shattered and on a recent Saturday night/Sunday morning  - so it occurred again.

The argument to use perspex etc instead of glass never makes much headway with BT and Centro/Travel WM - and the point has been put to them by police and Council for many years.

Rose And Crown Car-Park Work
We've got the odd passing kid annoying the workmen and wrecking their work too by chucking stuff in from the road. Can police pay passing attention please?

Scrapyard On Gravelly Lane Burgled
The scrapyard opposite Mona Road on Gravelly Lane was robbed in the early hours of Friday morning (2/3/2007). Police were doing door to door enquiries on Saturday. I'm told only wheels were reported missing. Burglars used a Transit type van.

That premises is being targeted often.r

Car Broken Into - Kirkwood Avenue
A person on Kirkwood Avenue had there car broken into. Apparently they were after alloys etc

Unruly Kids - Top Croft Estate
This has now been referred to the Neighbourhood Tasking Group (whatever that is). They will come back with an official response.

Attempted Burglary - Goosemoor Lane
The owner will inform the police - in the early hours of Fri 23/2/2007 an attempt was made to enter a house on the even-side near the Kirkwood Avenue junction. Person or persons unknown attempted to force entry to the front of the house via a locked and secure large window by removing secure parts of the frame with unknown implement.

Could only have been done from the front-garden (so would have been seen by any neighbours looking but it was in the middle of the night). The owner believes a previous attempt at night may also have been made via the same access point recently.

The Council will soon make an official announcement about the planned upgrade to the street-lighting on Goosemoor Lane (see News Page). Needs to happen.

Worth a check of your CCTV if you have any that was on and recording etc, see who was doing it or lurking about etc.

More Graffiti - Rose And Crown Car-park - Removed
More graffiti appeared on the fence inside the Rose and Crown car-park but was spotted by patrolling uniformed PCSO's who arranged it's removal.

Dumped Burnt-Out Car - On Top Croft Estate - Gone
Police are aware of the small burnt-out car M789 AEW that was dumped at the rear of the Baldmoor Lake Road "arm" (see Glossary Page). Opposite Repton House. By the line of disused garages. Those garages were supposed to be knocked down but still has not occurred. The car has gone now anyway.

Mini Wrecking Spree - Goosemoor Lane
Sunday evening, 4/2/2007 sometime between 7pm and 9pm. On the even side between the Kirkwood Avenue junction and the Woodyard. Some parked cars had their wing-mirrors broken or broken off (at least 2 cars and it's unclear yet if another car parked there with broken mirrors were part of the spree but probably yes and there may be others somewhere along the road)

The mirrors on the pavement side were included and the cars were parked on the verge so were NOT just hit by passing traffic.

Cllr Alden is organising a petition to improve the street-lighting (see News Page) and we are having stuff like this going on (these mini wrecking sprees on cars and front gardens at night are quite common in the area. See below in fact).

Front Garden Vandalised - Goosemoor Lane
Even side, up by the sub-station, at night between Sat/Sun 3-4/2/2007. As I say a lot of this goes on.

More Tyre Tracks In The Park
From what seems like a quad-bike racing around on the grass in there. There are plans to fence the Park off (see News Page). The fence will need to keep quad-bikes, mini-motos and motorbikes out too - not just cars.

Fosseway Drive Fence Round The Derelict Towerblock - Fixed
Large sections of the wooden fence were down. Fixed.

Graffiti - Rose And Crown Car-Park - Gone<

`An Erdington resident whose house has been targeted by graffiti vandals says the problem is making peoples' lives a misery.

The Goosemoor Lane resident, who has asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, said a fenced off building site is 'attracting the vandals like flies'.

"They are treating it like a blackboard," he said of the blue boards surrounding the former car park at the Rose and Crown Pub. "They say the boards have been put up to keep vandals out but they are creating the problem."

The victim's Goosemoor Lane property was also targeted this week.

"The tags are the same as the ones on the boards, so it must be the same people doing it," he said.

"All the residents are fed up with it, it is an eyesore."

And despite reporting the problem to the police, he says no action has been taken.

"I phoned the police and have been given a crime number but nothing has been done," he said.

The incident comes just weeks after a successful operation by British Transport Police which saw three teenagers arrested for alleged graffiti offences at Chester Road railway station.

PC Malcolm Harthill of Erdington Neighbourhood Police Team said the problem would be addressed.

"In cases of graffiti we work closely with the housing and environmental agencies," he said.

"Operations are carried out on a regular basis both covertly and overtly to try to resolve the problem.

"We are aware graffiti does affect people's every day lives and it is something we treat seriously."

He added: "We do not want this situation to reoccur and we will be speaking to the resident to see what can be done."'

Action plan;

The graffiti has been removed.

If the trees in that disused car-park are going to be removed for the housing development, that should be done immediately to remove the cover those trees presently give graffiti artists there.

The nearby dim Lamp 7 on Goosemoor Lane has been reported to the Council to have it's bulb replaced (see News Page).

That disused car-park has two large but previously defunct floodlights at it's rear - one has now been switched on as suggested, lighting up that area.

Police need to photograph the present graffiti so any later court-case on other graffiti by the same person can be shown it.

Cllr Alden has given me the graffiti hotline;

0121 303 1112.

Grit Container - Court Lane - Now Chained To A Lamp-Post
The big yellow container of grit had taken up it's usual Winter residence at the Court Lane/Charlecote Drive junction opposite the Spinney. It was being knocked over often (see News Page too). I kept asking the Council to place it next to a wall etc so it couldn't be tipped over again. They've chained it to a nearby lamp-post instead. Which should solve the problem.

Gates Fixed - But Not For Long - Alley Next To 81 Goosemoor Lane
(This may have been high winds) The large wooden gates next to 81 where the new development is due to start were down, were fixed, down again now.

No Paedophiles For Ages - Then Two At Once
Sutton Observer again,

"A teenager downloaded indecent images of children from the internet and kept a diary of his sexual fantasies, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

Matthew Embrey, 18, admitted 13 charges of making indecent images of children. Police discovered the images in April 2005 when they searched his parents' home in Erdington after arresting Embrey on another matter.

The drive of the computer in his bedroom contained 600 images of children and a poem describing the indecent assault of a four-year-old girl.

Police carried out another raid on Embrey's aunt's house in Tamworth and found an ipod which Embrey had used to store 540 indecent images of children and a 17-page photo album with printed photos.

Judge John Saunders QC adjourned sentence so that he could be given more information about the defendant, who was remanded in custody."

Again all I have is that report, doesn't say where in Erdington either. The pics were downloaded not taken of local kids, whatever difference that makes.

Paedophile Jailed - Kirkwood Avenue
From The Sutton Observer website,

"A paedophile who kept a record of his abuse of a young girl has been jailed for four years.

Michael Lewis, 45, of Kirkwood Avenue, Erdington, took pornographic pictures of the victim and her cousin, and logged the incidents in an electronic diary. Lewis, who was ordered to register as a sex offender for life, had previously admitted sexual assault, indecent assault, taking indecent photographs and possessing ammunition without a certificate.

The court was told how Lewis had been a trusted friend of the victim and was allowed to collect her from school.

Police were eventually informed by the cousin after he had taken pictures of the pair and told them it was 'their secret'.

Officers found the computer containing the images and diary, and recording equipment when they raided Lewis' home.

(Above is the first and only stuff I've got on this. I can't answer whether other local children were still at risk once the house was searched - i.e. he was bailed - or if other laws brought in etc would have mattered. Without the full facts it's hard to know what could and should have been done. If he wasn't bailed once the house was searched I can't think what else could have been done. There's the debate about when he gets out if he's still to come back here - that's for then though. Just shunting him somewhere else will just make him someone else's problem though, and who knows who has already been "shunted" to here. I think we're all familiar with the arguments on this).

Crime above is for 2007

For An Appeal For Witnesses Over A Hit And Run In Station Road, Click here

Derelict Alexandra Nursing Home Broken Into - Again
This derelict building at the top end of Gravelly Lane gets broken into every school holiday. Still occurring

Sexual Assault - Short Heath Park
From the West Midlands Police website,

("Court Road" is of course Court Lane).


Police are appealing for witnesses following an incident in Short Heath Park, Court Road Erdington near to the Topcroft Estate, which occurred in the early hours of Monday 4 December.

A 19-year-old woman was grabbed as she walked in the park between 0015-0030hrs Monday by two offenders, who pulled her to the ground and sexually assaulted her.

The offenders are described as two white males aged around 17, both were 5'5-7 and skinny build, one of them wore a blue or white baseball cap, a black scarf and a zip-up tracksuit. They are believed to have been with two other youths described as black, in their teens and wearing dark tracksuits.

Police are investigating the incident and are appealing for witnesses to contact the CID at Sutton Coldfield police station on 0845 113 5000."

Rape Crisis,

(See News Page over issues of bad-lighting on the Estate - these will be looked at again now).

Police Base On Jarvis Road/Erdington Neighbourhood Police Team
The conversion of Flat 1 Alnwick House, Jarvis Road, into a "police base" has now occurred. (Alnwick House is the block nearest Court Lane. Windsor House with the concierge is in the middle of the row). First meeting is 10am on Wed 13/12/2006.

Police are keen to hear from residents.

More contact details;

Erdington Neighbourhood Team D2
Kingstanding Police Station
Kingstanding Road
B44 9RT

Tel 0845 113 5000 ext 7851 6252
Fax 0121 322 6133

Bike Stolen/Recovered - Goosemoor Lane
Fri 1/12/2006 around 7.15pm. One offender trespassed into a back garden via the wooden gate adjacent to the front door of the house, whilst another offender kept watch. A mountain bike was stolen and both made off onto the wasteland between the Top Croft and Jarvis Road Estates.

However they were spotted and quickly pursued by the owner on foot who detained one offender by the North Block whilst the other fled. Bike recovered - I believe one offender turned over to police by the bike owner (or maybe some other form of justice meted out!)

A reminder not to leave valuables in insecure back gardens, plant thorn bushes round the perimeter, and take special care if your back garden is at a road junction (this one was) as it is then accessible and visible to pedestrians passing on the pavement.

Scrapyard Alarm - False Alarm
Scrapyard opposite Mona Road on Gravelly Lane was once again showing off how loud its alarm was on Mon 13/11/2006. Alarm went off twice with the light on the alarm box flashing all night.

False alarm however (see below for more on those premises).

Tyre Tracks In the Park
More tyre tracks are in the Park, suggesting cars are being raced erratically in there at night now.

Arson Fires - Fosseway Drive
Bear in mind we've got kids setting fire to the wooden fence surrounding the derelict tower-block. Most recently on the evening of Tues 7/11/2006 around 7pm.

Top Croft Phone Box Vandalised - Taken Away Now
There have been ongoing vandalism problems with it and the box has now been removed altogether by BT. As a resident has pointed out though - it's another victory for the mindless element in the area rather than a true solution to an ongoing crime.

Car Broken Into - Goosemoor Lane
Parked opposite the Woodyard. Broken into on the evening of Thu 26/10/1006 sometime before midnight. Front passenger window broken.

Front Garden Fence Vandalised - Goosemoor Lane
Opposite the Kirkwood Avenue junction. Wooden fence vandalised/broken. Evening of Fri 27/10/2006 sometime before 10pm.

Car Chase - Near Gravelly Lane
Early morning of Mon 23/10/2006. A silver Ford Fiesta (new shape) was being chased. It came along Summer Road and turned up South Road. Plenty of police came soon after.

(Police helicopter was out on the afternoon of Fri 27/10/2006 over Jarvis Road - it's all happening!)

Fosseway Drive Fence Damaged - Fixed
Part of the wooden fence enclosing the derelict tower-block had been broken down - sealed again. Men are working in the enclosure now.

Alarm Sounding - Gravelly Lane - More
More has now come in about this. One was sounding opposite the Mona Road junction (the scrapyard premises), 9.45pm Fri 29/9/2006. It turns out the owner has major problems with attempted break-ins or drunken people bashing the door late at night - though he's unsure which this was - if any. No sign of damage or an attempt to break in.

All the premises (homes and business premises) along that stretch of Gravelly Lane have no frontages so the doors are directly on the street, making them relatively easy prey to burglars or drunken passers-by etc. 

Police Pursuit Ends In Car-Crash - Goosemoor Lane
Thu 5/10/2006 around 5.30pm. Police will have far more but a black car came racing down at high speed to the Bend from the Kirkwood Avenue end (again) with police in pursuit. The vehicle either lost control on the Bend or the driver was preparing to bail out so abandoned the controls but whatever, the car mounted the pavement by the Anstey (Goosemoor Lane Playing Fields) with such force the front-left wheel came off!

Driver bailed out and ran off onto the Top Croft Estate - pursued by police, police dogs, police helicopter etc. The three-wheeled car left in the road! Road cordoned off for some time at the Top Croft and Sycamore Road junctions.

Again no-one hit but only by luck I would say.

So that's 3 incidents in days where the pavement has been mounted in the area by speeding vehicles.

Wed 14/9/2006 on the Bend.

Recently on Top Croft Road (near the Goosemoor Lane junction) where lamp-post number 2 was struck.

Now this.

Different reasons for each event (though speed a common factor) but is the lay-out of the road safe? Can anything be done?

Lamp 2 Top Croft Road Hit By Car - Which Made Off
(This classed as a crime but see News Page for other vehicle accidents in the area). Lamp 2 Top Croft Road (near the Goosemoor Lane junction and on the shop side) was struck and dented by a speeding car late one night recently which mounted the pavement, hit the lamp-post, then sped up to the phone-box area at the Baldmoor Lake Road junction, turned around, came back down into Goosemoor Lane and then turned right towards Gravelly Lane and made off.

So that's the 2nd time in almost as many weeks that a speeding car in the area has has gone out of control and mounted the pavement (just the cases I'm learning of and neither will these be officially noted anywhere for later study over traffic-calming needs etc). Again only by luck was no-one walking past at the time.

The lamp-post is still upright and working but I've reported it to be checked. The dent at the base is clearly visible.

Yet Another Wrecking Spree - Goosemoor Lane
Junction area of Goosemoor Lane and Top Croft Road, Sunday night 27/8/2006. Property stoned, gardens attacked and bin-bags ripped open etc.

Theft From Car - Sycamore Road
Sun 3/9/2006 around 9.30pm. Car parked near the Goosemoor Lane junction. A pair of wellington boots was taken but vehicle rifled through and the gang ran off when disturbed. Gang of about 8 young men, one on a bike. Ran into Goosemoor Lane and then into the Park and into the darkness. Had been trying other cars on the same road just beforehand. Are believed to target Sycamore Road.

Attempted Car Theft - Top Croft Road
Friday afternoon 1/9/2005. Car parked near the junction with Goosemoor Lane.

Increased Security - Bromford Close
This cul-de-sac at the bottom of Court Lane has new steel security fences and other stuff etc. Obviously people not feeling safe down there for whatever reason.

Motorbike Scrambler Hit And Run - Top Croft
A car parked outside a house on the Large Island was hit and damaged. Night of Tues 29-Wed 30/8/2006

Lots Of Police Cars Parked On The Road - Fri 1/9/2006
There were lots parked on Goosemoor Lane late by the Woodyard and further up towards Court Lane. Don't know what is was about though.

Green Rover With Broken Window - Court Lane
Police are aware of the green Rover saloon that was parked on Court Lane at the junction with Madehurst Road with a broken front-passenger window around 2.30pm on Tues 22/8/2006.

Wrecking Spree - Gravelly Lane
Some time overnight Sat-Sun 19-20/8/2006 down by the post office and on that side. Car wing-mirrors ripped off etc, even parts of a front-garden brick wall pushed over.

Some Sort Of Motorbike Drama - Goosemoor Lane
It seems a chase involving police in a car chasing a motor-cycle came to an end on the road with the motorbike abandoned on the pavement. Wed 16/8/2006 around 10pm by the Bowling Green Close junction.

Air-Rifle Sniper At Large - Short Heath Park
(Great Barr Observer) Not exactly the bad old days of Sarajevo or South Armagh but bad enough, between July 19th and 26th there have been several incidents in and around the Park. A girl hit in the neck, a man hit in the chest - cars, buses and house-windows also targets. Police at Sutton Coldfield Police Station are appealing for information. 0845 113 5000

Car Wrecking Spree - Top Croft/Jarvis Road
Tuesday morning 4.30am 1/8/2006. A group of young people moving from north to south across the Top Croft Estate damaged several parked cars and continued the same way across the grassed area onto Jarvis Road and attacked some there too.

Grass Fires - Arson
(See News page about overgrown land between Jarvis Rd and the Top Croft Estate). The Council cut the grass but left the cuttings - these were then set on fire. Also on Goosemoor Lane on the odd-side at the junction with Court Lane smaller grass fires have been started.

Prowlers Trying To Steal Cars - Goosemoor Lane
Around 0.45am Monday night/Tuesday morning 17-18/7/2006 two prowlers came out of Sycamore Road onto Goosemoor Lane and began attempting to steal/break into cars as far down as the Kirkwood Avenue junction - hiding in driveways when cars passed.

Were unsuccessful - ran down towards the Anstey, police summoned via 999.

May have been doing the same on Sycamore Road beforehand, and the rest of Goosemoor Lane subsequently.

Two males, both white, aged 17-20, dark clothing, both slim build and around 5' 6". At least one received a mobile phone-call whilst on Goosemoor Lane.

Car-Crime Spate - Bowling Green Close
Got this from a resident;

"A spate of car-crime over the last 3 months in Bowling Green Close, probably opportunist, and as always Police made aware though uninterested."

So more stuff at the Court Lane end! (See below).

CCTV Campaign - Top Croft Estate
There's a plan to put CCTV on all the Estate but it's at the early stages so far (some parts have some already). Cllr Robert Alden leading this;

Yet More Trouble At The Court Lane End - Pregnant Woman Mugged
Goosemoor Lane on a Monday morning (26/6/2006). A young pregnant woman walked over the Park from over the Top Croft Estate to catch the bus to work at 9 O'Clock Monday morning, by the electric-box (the "sub-station") when a boy? man? with a scarf round his mouth sprayed her eyes with a spray, knocked her to the ground, and stole her handbag.

She says he was not white or black but looked some kind of Asian.

Knife Incident - North Maisonette Block - Top Croft
Saturday night (24/6/2006) as a young man left his home a gang of men jumped him and beat him up quite bad, for nothing. They came from a party in one of the maisonettes over the estate. Coked out, off their heads.

Another report says he was also threatened with knives the men carried. He was put in hospital.

A Shedload Of Stuff Up At The Court Lane End
(Dates are vague with this so far). We had a car broken into and some contents stolen. Parked on a front drive opposite the Inset at around 1am morning of Wednesday 21/6/2006. This was captured on CCTV by a resident. Three thieves.

(The same night or the following night at 4am). A house was burgled on Court Lane near the Goosemoor Lane junction, it's car stolen, and crashed into another car parked on Goosemoor Lane up by Court Lane.

Was this the work of all the same people? (If it was the same night). Police need to compile all the facts (especially that CCTV).

A large piece of rubble lies in the road by the Sub-station (reported for removal). Is that part of this tale?

On the Saturday of 24/6/2006 at around 4pm lots of police were in the Park, rumours of a stolen motor-bike.

I got a report of some melee going on in the street by the Woodyard around 4am Sunday morning 25/6/2006 and a motor-bike being raced about.

Dumped Fosseway Caravan - Gone
Police are aware of the dumped and vandalised white caravan on Fosseway Drive. It is now gone We seem to be having caravans attacked in the area (one on Tedbury Crescent recently - Perry Common Website has more on that). If you own one, you may want to speak to police to ascertain the extent of recent attacks.

Goosemoor Lane Garden Vandal Attack
Even side front-garden up by the Sub-station. They stole a big ornament off a front pillar Friday lunch-time (16/6/2006). Just to go and smash it up at the Spinney.

Repton House Security Door - More Issues
(Birmingham Mail) The security panel on this Top Croft tower block has been ripped off, the CCTV inside is being attacked, drug-taking on the stairwells, nearby parked cars attacked etc. Loads of stuff going on. Police and Cllr Alden aware.

Post Box Vandalism
(This problem may not be unique to Erdington). A Royal Mail employee has told me post boxes in the area are being constantly vandalised (plates ripped off, dog crap put inside etc). The collectors are all issued with gloves now due to what they might find inside when opening them up.

Fosseway Drive Cable Box Was Busted Open - Repaired
One had been busted open down by the dead-end. Repaired (I'd get the aerial back out the bin in case some idiot decides to do this during THOSE football games).

Fosseway Enclosure Was Broken - Fixed
The wooden fence enclosing the derelict block on Fosseway Drive had been smashed down. Fixed.

Two Burnt Out Cars In The Park
I was told of two burnt out cars in the Park on Fri 14/4/2006 but they were soon removed so scant details.

Westland Close/South Grove (Attempted) Burglaries
The apartment complexes down by Gravelly Lane (opposite the post office). We're having problems with burglaries, attempted burglaries and car-crime by it's garages. There's some suspicion that some of the offenders live within the blocks and are repeat targetting certain residents. Police are aware of some of this activity but with some stuff occurring in communal areas of the same block it makes stopping it by patrolling hard.

Still North Block Trouble - Top Croft
We've still got nightly trouble around the North Block. Same people as ever. The security-door was fixed and that now keeps them out, but nearby parked cars still aren't escaping.

We've had more old TV's and fridges etc dumped around the area. I reckon this is Xmas and old replaced stuff being chucked out. We need to start looking at more regular clean-ups and roving bulky removals etc.

Crime Above Is For 2006

Gravelly Lane Drugs Raid
(Evening Mail) Police raided a house on Gravelly Lane on 8/11/2005 and discovered a "cannabis factory". A 25 year-old man was arrested and later released on police bail.

Car Stolen - Gravelly Lane
Taken from outside a house on the even-side between the Rose And Crown and Goosemoor Lane junction (on that side). More details as I get them.

Tyre Marks In The Park - Again
There are tyre-marks all over the Park grass again. Clearly cars being raced around on these dark nights.

Car Broken Into - Goosemoor Lane
Evening of Wed 26/10/2005. A Renault Laguna was broken into.

Reported Burglary Down in D2 Erdington
(Sutton Observer) Police are saying just two burglaries were reported in the D2 part of Erdington (and Kingstanding) from Sunday 16/10/2005 back to the previous weekend. Four years ago an average of 25-30 burglaries were reported each week.

Police Raids On Pubs
(Sutton Observer). Police raided several pubs including the Rose and Crown in drugs raids. Overall there was one street caution and one arrest.

Attempted Abductions Of Kids - Sutton Coldfield
(Evening Mail/Ceefax) Several attempts have been made to abduct school-children near schools in Sutton Coldfield. So far accounts/details in the media differ. All schools in the area are aware of the problem and have informed parents and police have increased patrols.

Woman Who Died In Police Custody - No Charges Or Disciplinary Action
(Evening Mail) Linda Burt, 49, was arrested following a disturbance outside her mother's flat on Trident Close at 9pm on Saturday 27th September 2003. She later died at Good Hope Hospital. The Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation has ruled that no charges be brought nor disciplinary action taken.

Top Croft Blocks Graffiti Was Painted Over - But Now Back Again
White paint was used in the North Block etc where all the graffiti was to cover it over. Not for long though, it's been done in graffiti  again. What is needed is police etc to take photos, eventually the handiwork will match other stuff in the city, the culprit eventually found, followed by a court sentence that stops them doing it again. Nothing short of that will work, just painting it over clearly doesn't.

West Block Wall Demolished
(This might have been an accident) About a 20 foot long part of the brick wall and railings at the front of the West Block on Top Croft has been knocked down. Anyone know what happened?

Gravelly Lane Gardening Centre Now Has An Electrified Fence
The Gravelly Lane Gardening Centre by the South Road junction by the railway bridge, they have had to electrify part of their fence! Reasonably impossible to touch by accident but be aware and make sure your kids are aware. Has warning signs, voltage etc not stated though. No more word yet on the Woodyard having one. See the lengths businesses of exposed open air premises in the area are having to take though?

Car Windscreen Smashed
On Goosemoor Lane on the even-side opposite the Woodyard. Evening of Thursday 30/8/2005. Front windscreen smashed of a car parked on the front driveway. No attempt was made to steal the car (or from it). Straight vandalism. The evening of Friday 12th November 2004 saw an identical attack (see below) so maybe a pattern.

Spinney Fence - Large Section Was Gone - Fixed
A large part of the Spinney steel fence had vanished (by the Abbeyfield Road side). Council quickly replaced it.

Jarvis Road Manhole Cover Replaced Too
Opposite Arundel House was a large hole where one was smashed! Council acted quickly to put a large paving slab over the hole and it is secure.

Murder - New Street - Erdington
(Reported widely in the media) Erdington man Donald Lowe (55) appeared before magistrates on Monday 22/8/2005 accused of the murder of his 52 year-old wife Sue Lowe on Saturday 20/8/2005. Will appear at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday 26/8/2005.

One Youngster Of Harcourt Road Locked Up
(Evening Mail) A thirteen year old youngster from Harcourt Road has been locked up for 4 years after a very serious car-jacking over on the far northern part of Chester Road.  A 16 year old accomplice from Dovedale Road got 4 years too. A lone woman motorist was pursued in her car at night, forced to stop, force out at knifepoint, her car then stolen.

(There are protestations of innocence over this case).

Alexandra Old Peoples' Home - Gravelly Lane - Burglary - Again
This derelict building has been broken into, front window smashed down. Police know. During holidays we often get kids going in there.

Red Metro On Top Croft Estate
There was a red dumped vandalised Metro car adjacent to the South Block short side. It's vanished but I don't know where to.

Possible Bogus Caller - Top Croft
From a resident;

"At 3pm Fri 8/7/2005 I had a man call at my door asking for sponsorship for St Basils, he showed me his charity card but I am still not certain if this was a genuine caller, has anybody else had this man at their door?"

From St Basils;

"We do organise sponsored walks and this year it took place on Saturday 18 June. However, we NEVER ask people to knock on doors seeking sponsorship. Most of the participants enter as part of a work team and are sponsored by colleagues. Be assured that we are looking into it as a matter of urgency."

As are West Midlands Police. Their site on the general topic;

Recycler Set On Fire Again
Someone thinks it's a good idea setting fire to the waste paper stored inside as it's happened again (see below). Junction of Goosemoor Lane and Gravelly Lane.

Lamp-Post Stolen From A Front Garden
On Goosemoor Lane early Monday morning (13/6/2005) an ornamental lamp-post was stolen from a front garden. Even-side, by the Kirkwood Avenue junction. There had been previous attempts to steal it (last in October 2004 where a hooded white youth on a bike tried on a Saturday during the day, making notes in a book beforehand). That was captured on CCTV and so was this successful attempt. It was dark but we have these details;

2.30am-3.30am. A car pulled up and parked opposite the house and waited (so on the odd side by the Kirkwood Avenue junction) and (it's believed) one person got out and violently removed the lamp by snapping it in two a foot or so up from it's concreted base, then put it in the car and then drove out of camera view towards the Bend. The post would almost certainly be left poking out the vehicle. Too dark for any description other than male.

Top Croft Havoc - Latest News
Police, Community Support Officers and Council etc are now cracking down on the ongoing major problems on the estate - however still lots more stuff has been reported as occuring. Don't suffer in silence! Council anti-social behaviour hotline, 0121 303 1111. Crime Stoppers,

Arson - Goosemoor Lane - Houses Evacuated
(Evening Mail) About 100 people had to be moved from 40 homes for two hours after fire-crews discovered a gas-cylinder at the heart of a nearby blaze. The cylinder did not explode and was not placed by the arsonists but part of a garage kit. Saturday evening 28/5/2005. Seven outbuildings affected by the flames.

Junction of Goosemoor Lane and Court Lane (even side of Goosemoor). Blaze was started deliberately in a nearby alleyway. (Just past the Substation and the arsonists would have been hidden by the woodland in the Park). Arson there previously during Easter 2004 so clearly a problem during kids holidays. The Fire Service were still there after midnight!

Not The Place 2B To Sell Drugs
(Great Barr Observer) Police raided a number of pubs including the Place 2B on Chester Road at the junction with Antrobus Road. Friday night 20/5/2005. Nothing found there but the Drakes Drum on Aldridge Road yielded results.

Driveway/Garden Conmen Operating In This Area - More
(Sutton Observer) Conmen are going around knoocking doors looking to work on driveways or gardens etc and then charging extorionate amounts .Some are also tricking their way into people's homes to steal. Here's a description of one;

Male, white, aged 50, stocky build, mousy medium-length hair, smartly dressed, driving a silver transit-sized van.

Also, look for these vehicles; a blue Land Rover Defender, a white flat-bed 7.5 tonne lorry, a black Audi with 2005 number plates, and a silver Ford Mondeo with 2003 number plates.

Big Accident - Road Was Blocked - Top Croft Junction
Sat 14/5/2005 around 10.30pm. A red car (being driven by joyriders I assume) crashed at the junction of Goosemoor Lane and Top Croft Road (by the shop) whilst being pursued by an unmarked Traffic Police car. Offenders fled, road was blocked for some time. At least two parked cars at that junction were struck. Car was travelling from Gravelly Lane. Police would be grateful for any CCTV I would assume.

Community Support Officers Are In The Area
CSO's are now patrolling the area. They are aware of this website, have been leafleting the area and know about the trouble on Top Croft.

Kids Hanging Around Outside The Shop
S and D News at the junction of Top Croft Road and Goosemoor Lane closes late (it's hours are by it's picture on the Glossary page) however now Summer is here complaints are coming in from residents about kids hanging around being a nuisance by there until it closes each night.

It's accepted that the shop serves a useful purpose with it's long hours and there's a limit to what the shop can do. It is aware of the problem which of course affects it as much as the residents.

I'll keep adding activities to the Games page (club urls etc) and the shop displays a big poster of the Goosemoor Lane website url etc now. The police will be made aware too and that should help.

Top Croft Havoc - More News
Police and Council etc are now cracking down on the ongoing major problems on the estate. Don't suffer in silence! Council anti-social behaviour hotline, 0121 303 1111. Crime Stoppers,

Peeping Tom - Jarvis Road
We've got a peeping tom certainly operating in Jarvis Road (word might come about further afield). Looking through women's windows. Description;

Male, middle-aged, plump, short, wears a cloth-cap.

(no colour given so I'm assuming he's white)

Police, concierges and Council are aware but have no idea who it is. The view on Jarvis Road seems to be he lives on that road but of course he might not (since they don't know who it is) and he might be operating elsewhere too.

Paper Recycler Set On Fire - Tipped Over Too
Kids have been really mucking about over the holidays and this is probably that too. The big paper container at the Gravelly Lane junction outside Costcutter has been tipped over and set on fire too. Would have taken a lot of people to tip it over. It gets emptied every week so will soon be noticed and righted.

Update - has been righted.

Cable Box Damage
All the black stuff on them along the road looks like dried oil where people have been trying to set them alight (all the rage in many parts of the city).

Bonsall Road - Front Gardens Beware
This from a resident there;

"Be on the lookout please.  Two nights in a row we’ve had idiots behaving extremely anti-socially and ruining our environment. Yesterday (Thursday 24/3/2005) a group of about 12-13 youths decided to kick the daffodil flowers off the plants between Bretby Grove and Gravelly Lane. Tonight they have half knocked down my for-sale sign and tipped out my neighbour’s plant pot full of soil. Reported it to police."

Remember, kids are on holiday, probably explains this. Any CCTV of it would be handy to pass to schools etc.

Woman Attacked - Johnson Road
(Evening Mail) A sex-attacker molested a 21 year-old Birmingham woman. The attacker grabbed the woman and dragged her into an alley where he threatened and assaulted her. She is believed to have been unharmed. The woman had got off a bus and was walking along Johnson Road at 9pm on Friday (4/3/2005). She was attacked near the junction with Station Road. (So by Ladbrokes/Station Kitchens etc). Attacker is described as black, medium build, 5ft 9 inches, wore a baseball cap.

Check any CCTV tapes you might have if you are in that area. West Midlands Police 0845 113 5000 or Crime Stoppers

Costcutter Place Restrictions On Kids
The Costcutter store (at the Gravelly Lane junction) have now put a sign up saying only two kids allowed in at a time. They must be having problems.

For details of an abduction on Reservoir Rod, click here;

Rubbish Rummaging On Jarvis Road
In the blocks on Jarvis Road people are rummaging through other people's rubbish! (Of course they might be looking for bank details etc so always beware of that). Whatever, rubbish is being strewn about and the Council aren't happy.

More Madehurst Trouble
A group of 4-6 youths were seen smashing up cars at the Court Lane/Robert Avenue junction area. This included a wing mirror being knocked off and a van being broken into and lots of stuff taken. (Reminder - not to leave things on display). Police were called but for whatever reason arrived too late to make immediate arrests. If anyone has any CCTV of the Court Lane, Robert Avenue or Madehurst Road junction areas for Sunday 06/02/2005 around 10:30pm that would be great. (See below - a real trouble-spot that).

Burglary - Goosemoor Lane
Thursday 6/1/2005. Between 8.30am and 3.30pm a house opposite the Woodyard was broken into. Access gained via the back Check any CCTV tapes wherever you are though. They MAY have entered from Goosemoor Lane and gone down an alley etc to get into the back.

Woodyard Electric Fence Plan
The Woodyard want to put an electric fence at their rear! (Searchlights and a machine-gun as well?) Council will have to give permission.

Crime Above Is For 2005

Four Areas Currently Of Major Concern;

The area is suffering at the moment from persistent trouble-makers;

1. Madehurst Road - Last Warnings Issued By The Council
Loads of crimes were being committed almost daily in the Madehurst Road area by known people! The Council sent letters out to people promising evictions if there's any more, that stopped things for a while. Now they've started again.

Update - the Council are aware. It remains to be seen if evictions will take place. Latest from residents;

(Date to come) Car was parked on front lawn as normal and they heard the dog bark in the early hours of the morning, so they woke up and looked outside to see 3 youths 1 in the car one on look out and I'm not sure about the other, so they went outside to confront them and they went off but soon come back saying,"Come on then I'll fight ya". At this point they didnt have the stereo but they come back later on and finish the job. They phoned police and there was blood left on/in the car so they have a sample.

Wednesday 2nd June. Parked my car in the back garden around 11:30pm, went out at 7:40am to find fence panel missing, rear passenger window missing and £200 of audio equipment missing from the boot!

Between 11pm on the 23rd April and 7am on 24th April a large dent was made to my car leaving a foot-print, while parked in front of my house on Court Lane.

Between Monday 26 April 12am and 12pm a stone had been put through my front passenger window while parked on Robert Avenue.

Between Sunday 2nd April 2am and 10am a stone had been put through my passenger rear window while parked out side my house on Court Lane.

Happend last Monday (19/3/2004) where I drove home and normally park in Robert Avenue as it's to dark too access my back garden as you never know who's down there, as I pulled out of Jarvis Road saw two kids run into Robert Avenue so thought best not to park up there, put it in my back garden. Next morning was about to drive to work where I noticed a fence panel out next to my car and my alarm had been set off. I then noticed the door bent wide open! When they opened the door the alarm must have gone off and scared them off. Lucky not done to much damage but still need a new door. Then on Friday night (26/3/2004) parked it back on Robert Avenue as thought would be lighter so they wouldn't try and break in again, but instead woke up to two big fat scratches down the side!

2. Family From Hell - Harcourt Road
Thursday 29/7/2004 at 3pm. They were attacking a number 68 bus at the junction of Harcourt Road and Jerrys Lane.

This issue keeps coming up, now even more so with the park play-area there. This from Sion Simon MP;

" ... concerning The ........ Family, and their anti-social behaviour. Since becoming the Member of Parliament for the area, I have been made aware of issues relating to this family, and have mentioned them to the police. I will now raise them again with the OCU commander, Chief Supt Douglas Paxton, and ask what action can be taken. I will also raise the matter with the Leisure Services Department."

This from Cllr McCorry;

"I have now received information from the Housing Department confirming that the above family reside at ... Harcourt Road and this is covered by Stockland Green Office. This property is privately owned. Sergeant Bob Gessey of the Erdington Crime Team is currently dealing with the property and is in the process, we believe of serving an ASBO."

Police raided the "family from hell" on Harcourt Road in big numbers late in 2003. Some are now serving jail terms but others are still causing trouble. We had a joyriding car crash by Madehurst Road on Sat 19/7/2003. Well-known trouble-makers were criss-crossing the Court Lane area (mostly on the Perry Common side of Court Lane but are venturing over to this area often, usually during the day). Trying to commit theft, assaults etc. Can I ask for more vigilance and use CCTV is you have it.

Update - It appears the ASBO idea has been dropped, why is so far unclear. Whatever, the trouble is ongoing.

The Perry Common site is also covering those two;

3. Cranleigh House/Repton House (Top Croft Estate)
Police and Council are aware of the ongoing major crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour problems in these two blocks on the Top Croft Estate and are dealing with them. The trouble is mainly in Cranleigh House. Do keep reporting it. (Mnemonic for those not familiar with the estate - Repton = red - the exterior brickwork at the top).

Update - The trouble appears to have stopped for now. There were various meetings and police have made some arrests, one of the main offenders has been locked up on other criminal matters.Cranleigh House and Repton House will both get CCTV too - Neighbourhood Renewal Fund - £50, 000 to provide a concierge security system. The scheme will provide CCTV cameras in the front and rear entrances and foyer/lift area. At the moment however the concierge system will not go ahead for certain.

4. Trident Close (opposite LA Gym on Gravelly Lane)
We are getting gangs of kids gathering at the Gravelly Lane junction throwing stones, attacking gardens and harassing passers-by.

Update - Increased police patrols seemed to have resolved this. Will be monitored.

Attempted Burglary - Goosemoor Lane - New Year's Eve
Two youths seen trying to gain access to a house at the Kirkwood Avenue junction area odd side, via a front window. New Year's Eve in the afternoon. With a screwdriver trying to open the small window at the top. Any CCTV tape of this would be useful.

Empty Fosseway Drive Blocks Are Now Being Demolished - Were Causing Vandalism
This estate was being demolished but not quickly enough. Empty blocks were being left and this was causing vandals to attack them and nearby areas. I raised this with Cllr Spector and, presumably as a result, blocks are now being razed as soon as empty.

Continental Lorries Being Tailed By Thieves - Arrests
(Sutton News/Observer) Continental lorries driving through the area (obvious by their number-plates and left-hand drive etc) are being followed by crooks in cars and then robbed in some quieter area (are being followed along Chester Road and Gravelly Lane etc first). Some 20 arrests have been made over this recently and property recovered.

Suspicious Incident - Goosemoor Lane - Saturday 13th November 2004
From a male resident;

"We live on Goosemoor Lane by Short Heath Park and tonight at approx 7.30pm whilst walking back from my dad's house by Kirkwood Avenue I was with my niece walking home and I noticed someone (young male) behind us walking very slowly. When we crossed the road he waited behind a van on other side then when I carried on walking I noticed he was behind us again, this alerted me something was not right so I told my niece to run up to my house and I walked into our drive and he looked at me when he walked past then he picked his pace back up and carried on. This in my opinion was a young man looking to mug a person who was not in a position to defend himself because I had a young girl with me and also he was quiet when behind us. This bothers me as I am a young man myself and able to defend myself but if he was carrying a knife I would have had it.

Description - wearing black hooded jacket with white writing on a back logo, about 5' 10" white, slim build, trainers white.

Checking about 5 minutes later he came back down with some other youth of about 15 to 16 on a bike, with his hood down and hovered around on the corner. This might be nothing but seems strange to me."

I have passed this onto police. Can people check CCTV tapes if they have any please.

Car Vandalised - Goosemoor Lane
On Friday 12th November 2004 between 11pm and the next morning a car had it's front windscreen put in by a brick. Car was parked on a driveway on the Goosemmor Lane even-side by the Sycamore Road junction. No known motive but nothing taken from the car. Check CCTV tapes if you have any please. CCTV is useful then anyway since we tend to have front gardens attacked on those nights (Fridays and Saturdays).

Fire At Bedsit - Chester Road
(Sutton News) Fire crews from Erdington and Sutton were called to Chester Road, Boldmere late on Monday night (14/6/2004). A fire was found outside the rear of the ground floor of a building, which is divided into bedsits. Police were called because the origin of the fire was doubtful.

"Professional Car Thieves" Jailed
Some time ago The West Midlands Police circulated a press-release (put here) that a gang in Sutton Coldfield and Erdington was breaking into houses to steal car-keys and making off with expensive cars from driveways. recently 6 men were jailed for a total more than 40 years. One thief was from Johnson Road.

Woodyard Intruders Caught
On Tuesday 18/5/2004 at around 11pm three intruders climbed over into the Woodyard from the Goosemoor Lane side. Police were called, arrived at the front on Goosemoor Lane and the offenders made off onto the Common (Littlecote Drive Public Open Space) at the back, though police caught two, who were later cautioned.

Burglary - Bonsall Road
Monday (17/5/2004) there was a break in on Bonsall Road (off Gravelly Lane) on the odd-side near it's bend. Happened between 7.30pm and 9.30pm. Any info to Sutton Police please.

New Fence For Church Of Christ
Church Of Christ are currently having a big security fence installed. In the past crooks have been using that area to enter and burgle next door Cookes (or attempting to).

Phone-Box Trouble
(This may have been a fault not vandalism) An engineer was at the phone-box by the Gravelly Lane junction today (24/5/2004). It tends to have it's windows put through a lot but there seemed something wrong with the actual phone this time.

Car Broken Into - Goosemoor Lane
During the night at around 1.30am (morning of Tuesday 18/5/2004) we had some people breaking into a car somewhere along the lower end of the road and then prowling around (or interfering with) cars at the Kirkwood Avenue junction area. They went in at least one Goosemoor Lane garden/driveway by the Kirkwood Avenue junction. One (or all) made off up towards the Park, walking on the even side (opposite the Woodyard). They may have split up at the Kirkwood junction though.

Desciption - was more than one but only description of one. Male, white, 18-20, slim build, dark baseball cap.

Car Allegedly Stolen From Goosemoor - Charges
Allegedly someone stole a car on Goosemoor Lane near the Kirkwood Avenue junction around 6pm on Xmas Eve. Was later found (or parked) on Johnson Road. Someone has now been charged with this offence. Another stolen car was dumped in Goosemoor Lane by the Top Croft shop on Xmas Day but no connection.

Fire - Short Heath Park
At the back on the electricity substation on Goosemoor Lane (inside the Park) are some woods and these were set on fire. Thursday 15th April at around 3.30pm. Fire service put it out. Kids on Easter break probably.

Car Broken Into - Hawthorn Close
Between the hours of 12 am and 6am this morning (Friday morning 19/3/2004) a car was broken into. The window was smashed and the door badly beaten on the ledge where they had tried to get the door open. Nothing was taken. By opposite the new houses on Hawthorn Road by the newsagents.

Bogus Company
(From West Midlands Police) Please be aware there is currently a bogus company in operation in the area. If you receive any advertising or are approached by "Four Oaks Tree Surgeons" with the telephone number 0800 043 0130 or mobile number 07788 938 191, please disregard and contact Sutton Coldfield Police Station. A lady in Chester Road used this company paying £400 to have 6 fence panels replaced. However they asked for a further £1400. This is not a valid company. However they drive a black van with "Four Oaks Tree Surgeons" written on the side. If you see this vehicle please note its registration and contact Sutton Coldfield Police Station on 0845 113 5000.

Attempted Burglary - Sycamore Road
(West Midlands Police) On the 20th February a daytime attempted burglary was committed. Offenders tried to force the front door and a rear window. Resident believes the dog barking at the noise may have disturbed the offenders. If you have any further information about these incidents please contact Sutton Coldfield Police Station on 0845 113 5000 or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111

For details on an indecent assault on Jarvis Road, click here;

Motorbike Theft - Goosemoor Lane - Thursday 12/2/2004
From a resident;

"A motorbike (scooter) was taken from my front garden. Thanks to being spotted by a neighbour, we managed to recover the bike, but not before they had caused £950 damage to it. Speaking to the police, at least one person saw the group of three acting suspiciously in the neighborhood, and reported them at about 9:00pm (bike was taken at about 10:20pm). Can we ask if anyone has caught them on CCTV, or saw them and possibly recognized them, to give that evidence to the police?"

Woodyard Burgled
Thu 15/1/2004 - between 6pm and 9.15pm. Entry gained via the front on Goosemoor Lane. Bolt-cutters or similar used to sever pad-locked chains on one gate (so presumably no opportunist - came prepared). Much stuff taken.

Car Tracks In Park Grass - Stolen Ones Still Being Dumped There
Cars have been racing around the Park yet again - a burnt out one is on the hill now (this often happens in Winter with the long nights). See all the tyres tracks on the grass? A motorcylist has been seen racing around too.

Crime Above Is For 2004

More Court Lane Carnage (see News page too)
(Sutton News) A car was destoyed and a van severely damaged in a collision. Both vehicles were stationary at the time of the crash ..... Dec 23 at about 8pm. One householder said another car, believed to be stolen, ploughed into the vehicles and also destroyed a tree.

(This was up the by Greyhound, as usual, the young tree (now stump) is by the Hawthornbrook Way junction and on that side). Traffic calming is still being refused, see the News page.

Windscreen Smashed
A small car parked on Goosemoor Lane by the Kirkwood junction in the early evening of Mon 29/12/2003 had it's windscreen smashed (this was NOT from a stone thrown up by a passing car etc). Hit several times with a heavy implement. No attempt at theft so presumed just malicious.

Car Stolen - Goosemoor Lane
A red Escort was stolen from outside of the new houses at the Hawthorn Road junction in Goosemor Lane on Monday 24/11/2003.

Burglary - Norfolk Road
Between 7am and 8am on the 15th Nov a burglary occurred, entry made via kitchen window. The offender was disturbed but no description is available. If you have any further information about this incident please contact Sutton Coldfield Police Station 0845 113 5000 or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.

Attempt To Enter Car - Goosemoor Lane - Other Thieves Caught
Late on the night of 9th/10th November 2003 a failed attempt was made to enter a vacant locked stationary vehicle parked at the Goosemoor Lane/Kirkwood Avenue junction. However a vehicle was taken from Kirkwood Avenue that night, police made arrests (though after the thieves crashed it).

Car Chase Ends On Goosemoor Lane
On Sunday 2/11/2003 at around 6pm a car was chased into Goosemoor Lane by about three police cars and abandoned by the Park, opposite the Inset. The offenders made off across the Park either into the back gardens of the Goosemoor homes opposite The Woodyard or onto the Top Croft Estate. Many police were looking including dogs. I don't know if they found them.

Foiled Possible Burglary On Gravelly Lane
On Monday 22nd Sept 2003 at around 6.15pm three boys were seen acting very suspiciously near a broken window at the front of the old Alexandra Nursing Home on Gravelly Lane. Police were called and arrived quickly and detained the three - one had cut his hand either trying to climb in or actually breaking the window himself.

Somerset Road/Jarvis Road Alleyway
This short-cut is a crime-area, very poorly lit at night. Options on what action to take are being looked at.

Littlecote Drive Car Attacks
(Littlecote Drive is off Beech Road) Two attacks on the same parked car. First they tried to force a door lock when this would not work they broke a quarter light. Nothing taken but lots of costly damage. They returned again last night at 3.30am (early Tues 26/8/2003) but were disturbed, this time attempting to force the door open. Again nothing taken but more damage. Description given as two young males wearing track suits and baseball caps. Split up and ran off one towards Beech Rd the other across to Kirkwood. Incident reported to police.

Roving Thieves On Bikes
(This is often linked to the trouble on Jerrys Lane) Known kids on bikes do circulate the area looking to steal from cars etc. So far Mondays around 11-12am seem to be the favoured time even during term time (they have been expelled or absent etc). They favour areas with lots of parked cars like Cookes (staff there know all about them) and the Rose and Crown etc.

Major Disorder - Jerrys Lane
(This is linked to the wider trouble in that area). On Friday 15/8/2003 for about half an hour from 7.30pm there was major disorder on Jerrys Lane by the shop/phone-box area. Very large number of bricks etc thrown by known trouble-makers, who were small in number. No-one hurt it seems, no known motive either. Police arrived too late, by then they had dispersed (events in the wider city are draining police from the area). Police may have acted since.

Car Broken Into - Madehurst Road
(Again linked to the crime spree in that area). On the same day (15/8/2003) a car was broken into, not known yet what taken.

Gang Mucking About With Cars - Goosemoor Lane
On Weds night 6/8/2003 around 11.30pm and then 1.20am we had kids messing around with parked cars, but it seems no crimes were committed. At one point (from CCTV) whatever they were doing opposite the Woodyard sent them scurrying down the road towards the Bend in such a hurry one bumped into a parked car by the Kirkwood junction and bent it's mirror.

Car Broken Into - Goosemoor Lane
On Sat 2/8/2003 at around 11.30pm near the Sycamore Road junction a car parked on the even-side was broken into and quite a number of items taken, even the child-seat. Offenders made off towards the Bend.

Joy-Rider Car Crash - Goosemoor Lane
At about 4am on Tues 29/7/2003 a car struck two parked vehicles (a car and a van) on the even-numbered side opposite the Anstey. This woke a few people but the joy-riders ran off before too much was seen by anyone.

Woman Attacked - Jarvis Road/Court Lane Junction
This is not yet being linked with the wider trouble in that area. A woman was attacked on Wed 16/7/2003 at around 10.20pm. I don't know the motive. Concern has been raised about the darkness of that junction yet Jarvis Road, Madehurst Road and Court Lane all have the most modern style of lamps. I'll have a look to see why it is dark. Watch this space.

Fosseway Fire etc
There are ongoing problems of vandalism/arson with the two tower blocks that are due to be demolished. When the remaining tenants are rehoused and the blocks are demolished that will solve that main problem (more of the estate is planned to go). The rest of the block estate will be a much smaller area though once those two blocks have gone.

Bus Driver Shot With Air Pistol
(Sunday Mercury) A number 7 bus driver was hit on the head by an air rifle (or pistol) pellet on Saturday 26th April 2003, around 3pm. Along Witton Lodge Road. Was a gang of kids, scant other details though.

Mugging On Bonsall Road
We had a mugging on Bonsall Road on Monday 14th April 2003 at around 10pm. Scant details I'm afraid.

Stolen Police Dog Recovered
(Sutton News) The helicopter in the area a week ago (Friday 11/4/2003) was because someone nicked a police dog! It was very quickly found however using another police dog and the person arrested (if you nick a police dog isn't it the simplest thing for another police dog to find it? Just look how much ordinary dogs sniff each other! How stupid was that?)

Fire - Dorsheath Gardens
(May not have been arson but looked like it). This little cul-de-sac off Summer Road between Six-Ways and the railway line had a big fire in it's big rubbish skip at around 11.45pm Wed 16/4/2003. Fire service arrived and it didn't spread to any dwellings but damaged the brick hut the skip was in..

Much Anti-Social Behaviour On Top Croft - Start To Keep Logs
Police are now aware of the problems being caused near the phone-box on the estate almost daily, starts around 9pm. However it's also become clear that major problems city-wide etc mean resources are scant. Logs should be kept by residents, this will ensure long-term action is taken.

(The helicopter seen circulating the area on Friday night was not to do with that but was intesterested in or waiting for some event on Chester Road).

Car Broken Into - Madehurst Road - Caught On CCTV
(This road is off Court Lane opposite the Jarvis Road junction). On the evening of Sat 1/3/2003 a car was broken into on Madehurst Road and a quantity of tobacco stolen. A CCTV system in the area picked this up.

Stolen Car - Arson
On Wed 29/1/2003 at around 10.30pm a stolen car was dumped by the Bowling Green Close junction and set on fire. From Sycamore Road to Court Lane had to be blocked off by police for about an hour. No-one hurt. Fire service arrived in a red engine (must have abandoned the picket-line). At least one CCTV system was running, police may want the tape. Check any CCTV tape you have. Offenders made off across Short Heath Park (unfortunately the snow came a day late or the police could have tracked them!)

Crime Above Is For 2003

Burglars Stealing Luxury Cars Off Driveways
(Sutton News) Burglars have made off with thousands of pounds worth of luxury motors from under the noses of their owners. The thieves have struck several times in the past month, often sneaking in through unlocked front doors while the owners were relaxing in front of the television. They usually strike in the early evening, snatching the keys from hall tables or handbags before taking the cars from driveways. Many residents have only discovered they were victims hours later, when they locked up for the night and found their keys missing. Now police are planning to step up high profile patrols in the Erdington area after it became a hot spot for the high value thefts. Officers today warned householders to make sure they always locked up when they got in for the evening and to keep keys well out of sight. Sgt Sharon Revitt, from Erdington police station, urged residents to be extra vigilant and to take basic steps to prevent them from becoming a victim. "People should keep their front doors secure even when they are at home and they should not leave any keys in the hallway or in sight of the thieves Insp Gez Chiariello said: "Although burglaries in general are continuing to fall across Erdington, it is important to raise public awareness. "We wish to highlight the current problem to local residents, and reassure them that local officers will be stepping up patrols in the area." Anyone with information about break-ins can call Erdington police on 0121 322 6006.

Not An MBE But I'll Take It
Knighthood must be still in the post, however I got this letter from Chief Supt Douglas Paxton over the new year;

" ..... I know from my discussions with .... (the Erdington Crime Fighting Team) ... that they themselves would immediately highlight the support they have received from key players within the community as being the most important factor in achieving success. The officers, therefore, asked if I would write to you in person thanking you for your support on their behalf. I have encountered many examples of truly outstanding partnership working since I arrived in the West Midlands and the example you have set in partnership with local agencies has to be amongst the most noticeable. On behalf of the West Midlands Police I would like to formally take this opportunity to acknowledge your contribution to the overall partnership effort and, in particular, your support for your local police officers .... "

Quad Bikes In The Park
Reports of quad-bikes being ridden around the park at night near the part adjacent to Cayton Grove.

Car Broken Into - Goosemoor Lane
Kirkwood Avenue junction. Sunday 27/10/2002 at about 7.40pm. Nothing taken but the car was damaged by what seems to be an attempt to steal it. Perpetrators made off walking towards Sycamore Road, police were summoned while they were at that junction walking towards Court Lane but although arriving quickly they couldn't find them. Descriptions are 6 young youths (15-16 years), one in a very bright white jacket.

Car Broken Into - Court Lane
A car at the junction of Court Lane and Madehurst Road at midday on Sunday (20/10/2002) had a broken window which didn't look accidental. Police were informed.

Bogus Callers Strike Again
(Block Watch Newsletter - October) This occured in the tower-blocks. Two elderly residents became victims of someone pretending to be from the gas board. Although not injured the two victims were badly shaken by the incident (see SeniorLink and Memo-Minder schemes below)

Anti-Social Behaviour/Crime
(Block Watch Newsletter - October) Erdington Crime Team (see Links Page) will be launching a major project in the area about anti-social behaviour/information gathering about crime. They will be asking all residents and businesses for their opnions/information. This will be done in a confidential manner. Posters and leaflets are being distributed now. Look out for the posters and collection boxes which will be in the Spar on Goosemoor Lane, the post-office on Gravelly Lane and St Margaret's Church on Jarvis Road.

D2 Police Forum
(Goosemoor Lane and the surrounding area is in the D2 police area). The West Midlands Police Authority D2 North Birmingham Local Consultative Forum took place on Wednesday 18th September at 7.30pm in St John's Centre, Walmley.

Not the official minutes;

The police are still trying to perfect the phone system (this keeps coming up). The police achieved the target level of times arriving at an emergency within 10 minutes. Less burglary than last year, lowest since 1997, concentrated in certain areas. Govt target for them acheived in reducing robbery, mobile phones a strong factor in robbery. 30% of committed robberies solved. Progress is being made on car-theft.

There followed the usual debate about statistics.

Wrecking Spree
(Sunday morning 1am 8/9/2002) Someone picked up half a slab from the patio of the front garden of the house on the corner of Kirkwood Avenue then by a house on the odd side by the Anstey threw it through a caravan window, the caravan being parked on the driveway. On hearing the noise a neighbour looked out and saw a youth and his girl walking past the house and another youth crossing over towards the house. The trio then tried to get into a car parked on the corner but failed and some minutes late a car alarm went off down Goosemoor Lane. The next morning a car opposite the shop was seen to have a smashed window as well.

Tapes checked suggest the wreckers came from up Kirkwood Avenue (so maybe from Beech Road whilst coming from a pub etc). Could have come from the Gravelly Lane end but usual to then go back down that way.

Can I just say thieves will often use stuff readily to hand so if things that can be used don't need to be in front gardens can residents move them.

Woodyard Burglers Captured on CCTV
On Saturday 31/8/02 at 3pm-4.30pm the Woodyard was burgled, other people have been caught in there recently. They now know the thieves had a lorry to load the large amount that was taken onto (in fact it seems certain they made 2 journeys). They would have been seen by anyone passing as they were in the open air bit. At least one security system in the area recorded them! Police now have that tape. Do check any tapes for a large lorry around 2pm-4.30pm driving along Goosemoor Lane on that Saturday afternoon. Someone has reported seeing a large white van parked opposite the Woodyard around 2.15pm but that was a red-herring, eliminated.

Old Lady Mugged For £4 - Somerton Drive (Sat 27/7/2002). More Info
(Sutton News/Observer) Another serious crime. We are having way too much going on in the area.

"An Erdington pensioner ..... Margaret Grant, aged 79, had her head banged on wooden stairs after being pushed into her home on Somerton Drive by an offender, who stole her handbag containing £4 .... `I remember he had steely eyes'. The incident happened as Margaret returned home at 5.25pm on Saturday after buying food for her Sunday lunch. 'As I was unlocking my front door this young man suddenly appeared behind me and pushed me in. He covered my eyes and I tried to get him off. He shouted at me and threatened me and then he started banging my head on the stairs' ..... Margaret was taken to hospital where she was treated for bruising and grazing to her face, head and elbow. Despite the terrifying attack, the plucky pensioner said she will not leave the home she has lived in for the past 11 years. The robber is described as white, aged 16-18, slim, 5ft 10in to 6ft tall, clean shaven with a pale complexion (see below for a fuller description). He was wearing a beige baseball cap and a pale coloured jacket and trousers. It is thought he boarded the number seven bus heading into the city from the nearby Witton Lodge terminal and got off in Aston. Anyone with further information can contact CID at Sutton Coldfield on 0845 113 5000".

So I reckon he walked one of these routes from Somerton Drive to the Spinney; Up Jarvis Road and then up Court Lane (or up Jarvis and across the old allotments and Top Croft and then through the park). Or across the Rose And Crown car-park (or past the Church Of Christ), and then up Top Croft Road and through the Park onto Goosemoor Lane by the sub-station, or all the way along Goosemoor. Worth checking any tapes to see if you have him.

In the Sutton Observer 16/8/2002 there were photos of the suspect from a 7 bus. He then changed his mind and got on another 7 parked behind. Now the description from police is fuller; white male, approx 5' 10", 16-18 years old, thin, wearing a white baseball cap, light blue tee-shirt and pale blue denim jeans. The police are confident this is the person, he was acting very jumpy on the bus. Got off at Nelson "Street" the Observer says (error I reckon, Nelson Road, by the Villa ground, the 7 goes by that. No Nelson Street in Aston).

Fosseway Tower Block Fire
(Sutton News) Two people were rescued by fire-fighters after arsonists struck at a tower block, Oscott Court, on Tuesday 13/8/2002. Fire fighters arrived at 2.40 am. The two people were taken to Good Hope for a check-up. The fire was started on the 6th and 7th floors. Police are investigating. More on the sister block below;

"Prisoners In Our Own Homes".
(July- From Sutton Observer - see News Page too) "Residents of a Sutton tower block say they have been made to feel like prisoners in their own homes after being targetted by heroin addicts who have left them too scared to leave their flats. Tenants of Lakehouse Court, who are waiting to be rehoused as the Council plan to demolish the dilapidated block contacted the Observer saying the flats have become a haven for drug users ........ the landings are littered with drug paraphernalia and often covered in vomit and urine. Inspectpr Bob Perkins of Sutton police said they were aware of the issues on the esatate and although there was not a huge problem, there was drug misuse there which the police were targetting ....... "

I would imagine the problems are equally as bad in the sister-block Oscott Court.

More Garden Vandalism
Sunday morning around 3.30 am 4/8/2002. Even side, by the Top Croft Road junction. Front and back gardens.

Garden Vandals
(April 2002) Got a couple of reports about gardens being vandalised late at night. This is on the even-side along near the Kirkwood junction. I reckon this is linked to the keep-left signs on the bend that keep getting damaged.

Iron Garden Gate Nicked - And More
(In fact along with the below original report it now transpires some sheds at the back of Goosemoor homes on the even side at the Top Croft junction were broken into and items such as a lawn-mower stolen. Almost certainly the same people. A few days earlier a white transit-type van was seen acting suspicious (if you know what I mean) late at night in the alleyway at the back of those homes. May not be linked of course).

Talk about needing to bolt everything down to stop it getting stolen, even that isn't enough sometimes! Early morning (4am - 7.30am) Thursday 1/8/2002 a house opposite the Hawthorn Close junction had it's wrought-iron front-garden gate stolen (presumably then such things have some scrap value so be aware of this if your garden has one. Of course it could conceivably be somebody nicking it for their own garden!) Somebody seen carrying a gate would be distinctive. Size 3ft x 4ft.

West Midlands Police Press Release 2/8/2002

Elderly people living in the Erdington area will be able to stay ahead of the bogus callers when officers deliver memo minders to 40 homes. The initiative has been made possible thanks to the Police Authority Community Initiatives Fund after a donation of over £1,000 towards the project. Constable Sue Patton said: "We were delighted to receive this funding from the Police Authority. We also plan to buy other security devices such as door bars. "The initiative will help in the fight against distraction burglaries which can be very distressing for victims." A memo minder is fantastic machinery about the size of a smoke alarm. It's battery operated and can record messages up to 20 seconds long - asking people whether they are expecting anyone and prompting them to ask who's at the door and to use a door chain if they have one. The alarm is activated when someone is within a few meters of it and can be placed near the front door in bogus caller situations. PC Patton added: "We plan to present the memo minders at a local event for the elderly being held at Jarvis Road police base in Erdington. "The gathering will give some of our older residents a chance to meet officers from the local crime fighting team. We also intend to promote schemes such as and Blockwatch - which allows residents to become the eyes and the ears of the community."'

Blockwatch Nominated For Award
This is a Neighbourhood-Watch type activity for the tower-blocks on the Top Croft Estate and Jarvis Road. From the local press it seems to be producing results. It has been put forward for the Marks & Spencer-sponsored Crime Concern Awards, results in the Autumn. This project was recently given a grant to buy radio equipment for police and Housing Dept staff inter-communication.

West Midlands Police Press Release 2/8/2002

Residents living in the area surrounding Jarvis Road and Topcroft estate in Erdington are being urged to look out for each other through a 'Block Watch' scheme established by police in the area. Officers from the local crime fighting team based at Jarvis Road police base have set up the initiative to help combat issues such as robberies, nuisance crime and burglaries. Sergeant Bob Gessey said: "This scheme allows us to work with the community on a variety of objectives to aimed at reducing crime and the fear of crime. "Thanks to a LILA grant we recently managed to buy a couple of two-way radios that are used to facilitate better communication between residents, police and council staff. West Midlands Police Authority Community Initiatives Fund donated further funding to buy another 20 radios that were allocated to residents. "This means residents can quickly report any suspicious activity. As a result the team has executed several search warrants leading to the arrest of people involved in drug activities." The crime fighting team has been involved in various initiatives to try and improve the quality of life for people living in the area. They have instigated the formation of a regular 'Block Watch' newsletter, carried out various vehicle clamping initiatives and hold regular joint surgeries with partner agencies. "The 'Block Watch' scheme concept is working very well for us," said Sgt Gessey. "We'd like to encourage many more people to get involved and make a contribution to making this area safer." For further information about joining the Top Croft Estate Block Watch scheme contact Sgt Bob Gessey at Jarvis Road police base on 0121 606 7825'.

BlockWatch Doing Well
(Block Watch Newsletter - October) The system is now beginning to gain recognition across the region and is working well. Crime figures for the area over the August/September periods suggest a 68% fall in reported crime.

House Burglary
On the odd-side near the Kirkwood Avenue junction on Monday 22nd July between 9 am and 5pm a house was burgled. Entry was gained via the back (or side) so from the Kirkwood Estate side (access to which is easy of course). The house was ransacked so they were in there for some time. Someone reported seeing a red Ford Escort speeding away from the immediate area and into Goosemoor Lane and go down towards the Anstey but this may not have anything to do with it.

Woodyard Burgled - Same Day
Around 7.30pm on the same day the police found an intruder in the Woodyard. It's not known yet if this and the burglary nearby (or the intruder mentioned below) are linked to this.

Intruder Spotted In Back Gardens
Between 2.30 - 3 am Thursday morning (4/7/2002) an intruder was spotted in the back garden of a house on the even side near the Top Croft Road junction. I am ascertaining whether police were called or descriptions.

Car Broken Into - Sycamore Road
(May) A car was broken into whilst parked on Sycamore Road on Saturday 11th May 2002 around 2.30pm and a mobile phone taken.

Graffiti On Telewest Street Boxes
Telewest took over Birmingham Cable. This graffitti issue is not unique to our area. It's been widely commented on in the media and by the police for some time that the Cable TV service boxes (several of which are in the area providing that service which many have of course) are a target for graffiti, more of which then appears in the area because Telewest don't clean them. Telewest are aware of the problem and we'll have to see what happens (their financial status is not excellent mirroring much of the multi-channel TV industry now which may be a factor in them not acting speedily).

Car Fire - Jerrys Lane
(From the Sutton Observer) A car was set on fire early on Wednesday 20/3/2002 on Jerrys Lane. This may not have been arson according to the report. Kingstanding police phone number is 0845 113 5000

Police Annual Report
Here is the link for the report of Sutton Coldfield Police about our area;

Rape In Roylesden Crescent - Police Request For Info
I don't normally report stuff from this far away and legal matters could arise when reporting on such serious crimes (eg prejudicial pre-trial reporting could lead to technical acquittals) so I have to be careful. They are widely reported elsewhere somewhat making my reporting perhaps not necessary but even newspapers etc have to follow rules. So here's the report from the Sutton Coldfield News from 1/2/02 (the following Friday). If anyone is arrested/charged I'll have to remove this;

"A 23 year old woman was raped in an alleyway in Sutton Coldfield. The victim was walking along Roylesden Crescent near to the Beggars Bush traffic island, on Tuesday night, when she was grabbed from behind by a man, forced into an alleyway and raped. Police believe a passer-by may hold vital information about the attack. A police spokesperson said, `During the attack the victim heard a noise which she said believes may have been someone nearby dropping an object onto the floor. It appears the attacker also heard the noise and fled on foot along Roylesden Crescent'. The incident took place near to garages in the alleyway, which runs between the Kings Road and Chester Road North. The attacker was a black male, very tall and of stocky build. Police would like to hear from anyone who was in the area between 10.20 pm and 11pm. They are keen to find out if there was another person near to the scene. Anyone with information should contact detectives at Sutton Coldfield police station on 0121 322 6020".

Possible Joy-Riding Accident
At the Witton Lodge Road/Chipstead Road/Abbeyfield Road junction there was a major accident involving two vehicles, Monday 4/2/02 at about 10.30pm. A white Metro and a small red hatchback. The red car was wedged up against the Spinney fence (where the fork ends), written-off, having mounted the pavement and knocked down a steel post. Probably unable to negotiate the bend down to Court Lane (both cars seemed to have been heading that way). The Metro had come to a halt in the middle of the Witton Lodge Road. It's not known if the two cars collided (it seems both were racing and lost control). All the occupants of both cars appeared to have fled (no ambulances but lots of police who seemed to be holding on to one uninjured person).

Car Broken Into - Kirkwood Junction
More car crime around this small area. On Sunday night/Monday morning 27-28/1/02 a car parked on a drive on Goosemoor Lane at the Kirkwod Avenue junction was broken into and some computer equipment taken.

Crime Above Is For 2002

Cars Attacked With Acid Near Kirkwood Avenue Junction
(Occurred Friday 28th December 2001). Two cars belonging to the same person parked on the verge and pavement on the odd-side in Goosemoor near the Kirkwood junction were attacked with acid (or paint-stripper etc) on the morning of 28/12/2001 between 1.30 am and 6 am. As you can imagine there were badly damaged. This may or may not be linked to the petrol-thief who regularly operates on cars in that area (see below) but the same acid thing happened to them in September. There are patterns emerging it seems.

Birmingham Crime Survey
The Birmingham Community Safety Partnership are doing a survey on crime so if anybody wants to fill it in;

Mobile Phone Stolen On Jerrys Lane
This was on the front page of the Sutton Observer in January though it occured in November. It was stolen to be sold to feed the thief's drug-habit it said.

Car Stolen/Recovered
(26th December) A couple of weeks ago a car was stolen from on the tarmac roadside verge outside a house at the Top Croft junction around 8pm-10pm and was found a few days later dumped on Glendon Road, in ok condition though.

Local Car Dumping Ground
Historically cars stolen from the area are dumped in about a 300 yard radius of the junction of Sheddington Road and Jerrys Lane. So if yours goes missing, that would be a good place to start looking.

Alleygater Scheme
(See Maginot Line below). Mentioned in The Chronicle (23/11/2001). Anyway this scheme is to gate off alleys to prevent burglaries (get it?) Residents in Erdington will be able to bid for money from the scheme. PC Steve Guest at Erdington is the guy to speak to.

The same report says the number of burglaries in Erdington has dropped compared to last year. 444 to 517 at the same point last year. As always this is reported crime.

Police Data: Burglaries In November 2001
Several sources in the West Midlands Police are now getting involved with the site and this has come from Sutton Coldfield's Community Partnerships Officer; This info is not verbatim, I've given the days of the week, corrected the road mis-spellings (having first made sure they are not other roads I don't know of) and said where Weycroft Road is;

Request for information:Domestic burglaries on beats 13, 14, 15, 16. Burglaries occured in the following locations between 09/11/01 (Friday) and 12/11/01 (Monday).

Norfolk Road
Gravelly Lane
Gipsy Lane
Goosemoor Lane
Weycroft Road (off Broomhill Road in Perry Common)

So as you can see, one in Goosemoor (and Gravelly Lane) but I don't know where exactly (I only give vague details when I know anyway). Of course these are only reported crimes. This data however may enable us to see how effective the site is as a deterrent, if at all, and if it does work will it just push crime to adjacent streets? Would each area having a site push all crime down? I still think the signs are the answer (see Signs on the News page).

Police Beat 13 (allegedly?)
I got a few minutes to look at a map during a Neighbourhood Watch Meeting (see above). Goosemoor Lane is in police Beat 13. This runs along Chester Road up to Court Lane and down to Short Heath Road. Turn right and up to Bleak Hill Road, along that up to Marsh Hill. Left up to and along Reservoir Road to the railway line. Along that to Chester Road.

Within Beat 13 lie several "microbeats". Goosemoor Lane is the border of two. Microbeat C runs along Goosemoor and left down Court Lane to Short Heath Road. Left again to Gravelly Lane and back up Goosemoor. D runs along Goosemoor and right at Court Lane to Chester Road. Down to the railway line and then to Station Road and down to Gravelly Lane, back up to Goosemoor.

Kirkwood Junction Petrol Thief
Can't be certain it's the same person but at the junction of Kirkwood Avenue and Goosemoor Lane on Friday night/Saturday morning (2nd/3rd November) a petrol thief who has seemingly operated regularly about every six months struck again, cutting the fuel-lines of parked cars to gain the petrol.

This time it seems an obviously-diesel vehicle was attacked too, so that's a clue as to the motive (not just someone with a car and nicking for only it). The further clues are it's only at that place in the street, the thief is unlikely to know about this site and it may be that the height-clearance is a factor (which varies depending on where vehicles are parked). It seems overall he can't get under low vehicles or those parked up against a kerb (so he doesn't jack them or want to risk being seen or hit by a passing car). It's usually well after midnight they come so it's assumed the latest theft was. This activity is sporadic but the type of crime I reckon more site-publicising will eliminate.

Cars No Longer Under Attack By Cooke's Furniture
We may be making some progress with the site though. It seems that the problem of resident's cars being attacked/stolen etc opposite Cookes furniture has stopped. This was quite prevalent (was reported to me in June 2001 and had continued since) and was mentioned on the site as being the main crime problem in the street.

Previously (July 2001) "4 cars were stolen on differing nights in Goosemoor Lane on the odd-numbered side between the Rose And Crown car-park and the Gravelly Lane junction. Not all have been recovered and attempts are still being made to steal others parked there. There was (6/9/2001) very recent broken car-window glass piled on the kerb in that small area strongly suggesting more have been attacked/stolen since but I haven't got confirmation of that".

Goosemoor Burglary/Suspect Arrested
(October 2001) A few days ago on the even-side by the bend just before midnight someone broke into a house but was disturbed by the occupants who gave chase when they fled. The police were called and arrested a suspect.

West Midlands Police Press-Releases
I have subscribed to be emailed the general West Midlands Police press-releases about the whole of the West Midlands area (they are now arriving) and I will cut and paste to this page anything about local streets that comes from them. If you want to subscribe yourself and get the full lists emailed to you it's;

Sheila Hughes
She runs Erdington Neighbourhood Watch. I did speak to her and efforts to co-ordinate things overall are badly needed and this can only come from the police. When we all know what has been decided about things generally I'll put the decision here.

Bogus-Callers Strike
(Reported to me on 4/8/2001) On the odd-side between number 81 and 99 a house inhabited by a female pensioner was burgled by bogus-callers. Two youths called at about 1.15-1.45 at night. While one kept her talking the other entered the house and stole her handbag. Descriptions are white, one in dark clothing and trainers, the other in lighter coloured clothing. They were playing with a football and made off up Top Croft Road. These were the details given to me. The time seems a little odd, I'm assured it wasn't 1.15 in the afternoon though.

The West Midlands Police page has more about bogus-callers;

More On Car-Thefts
A car on Goosemoor was broken into between Thursday 12th July night/the next morning 2001. It was parked on a driveway opposite the woodyard. Quite a few items were taken (the radio, and gardening equipment) about £400 worth of stuff was being stored in it overnight to be transported the next day. It just shows you have to be careful.

Perhaps it's obvious but I reckon cars not parked on drives in the areas of the street not facing other housing are more vunerable at night than those parked on the street in places with houses on both sides (less chance of a thief being seen). So that's opposite Short Heath Park, DW Archer, the Anstey, Rose And Crown car-park and Cooke and Son. Parking on the actual "gap" sides of these parts of the street at night is even worse of course, it might seem to be asking for trouble. Few park there.

The regular theft of diesel from the saw-mill may have been linked to the fuel crisis last year. The car fuel thing on Goosemoor Lane is not though (it was happening for ages before that). DW Archer do try not to leave vehicles in there overnight (as they tend to disappear) but sometimes it's unavoidable.

(Reported July 2001). Thefts out of back gardens/sheds at night have been reported in Johnson Road (off Station Road). Not that far away but the thieves have been using the railway embankment to get into the gardens, though that doesn't run along Goosemoor of course.

Setting Up Your Own Video Cameras
Some have asked about setting up their own cam-corders to watch their cars etc but are unclear how. Here are some tips;

Inform the police that you have done this. Pass all info known and gained to them, not to anyone else and co-operate with them. Conceal the camera and place it facing out to the street from a window with no zoom at all, to capture as much as possible (the taped images can be enlarged etc). Switch off the automatic focus and if you can, connect the camera to the mains and/or a VCR, to maximise the time recorded. Use seven tapes, one for each day. It takes too long to watch each tape if you just want to check, so check the Sutton Coldfield News/Sutton Observer/here etc to see if anything has happened that you may have ended up recording.

Recording At Night
This is a problem. Specialist night-vision equipment is expensive. You need to utilise the street lighting. Cam-corders have some limited night-vision though (find the right switch) and you'll find if the street lamps are kept out of shot the results aren't too bad, though not brilliant (if the lamp is in shot it "dazzles" the camera and almost nothing can be seen).

I checked out Littlewoods on the High Street to get some idea about security camera systems and they sell imitation security cameras for about 10 quid. The real ones start from around 40 quid. Not bad at all.

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