Local resident sets up street watch group to combat prostitution and drugs in Handsworth
A resident of Handsworth has set up a street patrol team to combat anti social behaviour in the area, including prostitution and drugs.
Tariq Rashid has formed the Handsworth Community Action Group with a group of volunteers who meet regularly and patrol the streets, making notes and providing help to any vulnerable people in the area.
Speaking on the V&Z Show on Big City Radio, Tariq said: “We are not there to be confrontational but our visibility acts as a deterrent. There are a number of issues which affect our community, fly tipping, prostitution, kerb crawlers, drug dealing, highway issues, broken street lights, potholes and homelessness.”
“My family lives in Handsworth and I just want them to be able to go to the shops without being harassed; and feeling safe, we all want this.
“For too long, the perception has been that nobody cares and too many turn a blind eye to the problems on our doorstep… but there are residents who do care.
“We started this in October 2018, and have noted positive changes. There’s less kerb crawlers, with some sex workers receiving help from outreach workers, there are fewer people meeting at street corners, things are getting better but still have a long way to go.”
Handsworth Community Action Group (HCAG) have been working in conjunction with outreach teams and West Midlands Police, with the backing of Inspector Iftekhar Ahmed.
HCAG are looking for more volunteers, especially women, as the group is currently male dominated.
You can contact the group via the local police station or via a search on Facebook for Handsworth Community Action Group.