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Two arrested after police helicopter drama over Stourbridge's Old Quarter
1:01pm Wednesday 7th May 2014 in News
TWO men were arrested in the early hours of yesterday morning (Wednesday) after a break-in at the old Longlands School site in Stourbridge's Old Quarter.
Police were called just after 1.30am to the derelict Brook Street site - which is owned by Birmingham Metropolitan College.
Officers were at the scene within minutes and they arrested a 20-year-old man nearby.
The National Police Air Service was also drafted in to assist from the sky with heat seeking cameras - and a 28-year-old man was found nearby.
A West Midlands Police spokesman said: "Both were taken into custody on suspicion of burglary and are assisting police with their enquiries."
The drama is the latest to hit the old school and college site, which was mothballed in 2011 after Stourbridge College transferred its art department to new premises in Brierley Hill.
Just a few weeks ago, on April 11, a fire in an old classroom block prompted worried resident John Milner from Brook Street to set up a Facebook site to get people talking about how the site could be secured and used in future.
And John Starmer, executive director of estates at B-Met, said just yesterday (Tuesday): “We are taking steps to make sure the mothballed Longlands site is more secure. "We have stepped up our security patrols and our estates manager has been out to assess the site and speak to the residents.
"We’ve also been in touch with the local police to discuss the ongoing concerns that the community has about vandalism in the area and its impact locally. Residents should rest assured that we are listening very carefully to their concerns and will do what we can to work jointly with them to combat the problems experienced.”
A number of residents want to see the old playing fields on the site turned into allotments - while others have suggested the old school buildings could be used for art and craft workshops or even provide a new base for a boxing club.
Meanwhile - former ward councillor Nic Barlow is calling for college bosses, Dudley Council (which owns the playing fields), councillors and residents to get round the table and start discussing the site's future.
He said: "There's too many email conversations between organisations and that does not achieve anything."
To read what people are saying about the site check out 'Get something done about the Longlands Site' on Facebook.
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