Following the stabbing of a 14-year-old in the Ryemarket Shopping Centre earlier this month, I met with local retailers and the Ryemarket's Manager, Aaron Powell, to discuss the incident and their concerns around crime. I was told loud and clear across the town centre that anti-social behaviour has increased in the last six months and this is leading to more crime.
The latest appalling incident has shocked many and I share that shock and the concern that this issue should be a priority for the police and the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC). There are specific concerns around the Stourbridge car park and I welcome the council spending £150,000 on CCTV in that location.
But what many said and I fully support is that a police station or, at the very least a permanent base for police officers in the town centre, is what is needed right now. Local people want the reassurance of a visible police presence in our town and since the closure of the police station by the then PCC in 2017, Stourbridge has been forgotten in my view.
We need our police station back.
It is what I want to see happen, it is what many retailers would like to see happen and it is what the majority of Stourbridge residents want to see happen. I urge the PCC to act and work with me so we can reinstate the much needed police station.