On Wednesday of this week I spent an afternoon at the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Willenhall, attending a community safety event organised by Safer Walsall Partnership. Several colleagues from organisations such as Walsall Council Environmental Health, the fire service, Area Partnerships and NHS were there to give advice and assistance to worshippers as they passed through. Events like this are a useful way for us to spend our time as we get to see a large number of people in a relatively short space of time and to an extent have a captive audience. And did the Gurdwara look after us! I for one tucked into a large plateful of tasty asian delicacies, necessitating a long cycle ride later on!
Being Diwali, a lot of people, particularly families, were visiting the Gurdwara and we were able to engage with many of them. My crime prevention message centred mostly around home security, as Asian homes are at risk of being targeted for gold and jewellery. If you do have high-value items stored at home one way to protect them is a small safe (you’ll see my hand resting on a typical example in the above photo). These can be purchased from around £30 and should be secured to a strong wall or floor, preferably somewhere inconspicuous, such as in a wardrobe. They won’t stand up to determined attack from a professional but will protect your valued items and documents from the more common opportunist thief. Along with a properly maintained alarm and strong locks, a safe will contribute to placing barriers in the thief’s way and make them think about going elsewhere. Get items valued and check that you’re properly insured, just in case.
My colleagues and I are always interested in coming out to speak to local residents and spread our various messages, whether it be crime reduction, fire prevention, health or council services. If you’re interested in holding an event or inviting us to visit, then you can get in touch via your Area Partnership, details of which can be found on their website. You will find loads of useful advice by visiting the West Midlands Police website, or by contacting your local Crime Reduction Officer.