A GROUP of independent candidates for the Dudley Council elections on May 2 is calling for police hubs in Kingswinford and Wall Heath.

The quartet, who describe themselves as community ambassadors, claim the region has seen a hike in car theft, anti-social behaviour and burglary.

The group started an online petition which has already attracted more than 300 names calling on West Midlands police and crime commissioner (PCC), Simon Foster, to introduce hubs in a move they say would cut response times and increase police visibility.

The candidates, who will be standing in Kingswinford and Wall Heath, are Cassie Gray, Adam Waldron, Brian Bassingthwaighte and former Conservative councillor Shaz Saleem.

Cassie Gray said: “As residents of Kingswinford and Wall Heath, we cherish our peaceful community. However, recent events have cast a shadow over our tranquillity. 

“We have written to the Police Crime Commissioner asking him to support police hubs in local communities at establishments such as the Kingswinford Christian Centre who will give our residents the opportunities to meet their neighbourhood team and discuss any concerns.”

The role of PCC will also be up for election on May 2 and the current Labour incumbent, Simon Foster, has already declared he will stand for another term in office.

Mr Foster said: “My top priority is continuing to rebuild community policing. We need police officers out on the streets, keeping people, families, businesses and local communities safe and secure, whilst being accessible and visible to the public. 

“I pledged 450 police officers allocated to community policing, but I have actually delivered 570 to rebuild community policing. 

“I will always prioritise police officers and police staff working directly within our communities, because it is officers and staff that prevent, tackle and reduce crime.”

Adam Waldron added: “We understand that establishing a full-fledged police station might not be feasible immediately but we firmly believe that creating a local police hub can significantly deter these criminal activities.”