Birmingham & Black Country

Kingstanding school erects fence after pupils 'intimidated'

The fence Image copyright Birmingham City Council
Image caption Reports of crime and antisocial behaviour had dropped since construction started on the fence in August, the council said

A primary school has put up a 10ft (3m) fence to stop pupils being intimidated by "threatening gestures" from people on the other side.

Almost 40 incidents have been reported to police since 2016 by Twickenham Primary School, in Birmingham, which said the fence was a "last resort".

The school also wanted to prevent people trespassing and increase security, a city council report said.

Reports of crime had dropped since construction in August, it said.

Birmingham City Council's planning report said nine of the reports to police related to unauthorised access of the Kingstanding school grounds.

Image copyright Birmingham City Council
Image caption Some neighbours have described the fence as 'industrial and gloomy'
Image copyright Google
Image caption The school took the decision after children were allegedly subjected to anti-social behaviour and intimidation

"The school wishes to erect the fence in order to provide greater security, prevent trespass on the site and prevent individuals from intimidating pupils from the gardens on the other side," it said.

"It is evident that Twickenham Primary School has suffered relatively extensive problems with crime and anti-social behaviour in recent years.

"The school also wishes to limit visual interaction between the residential properties and the site, as a result of incidents where individuals have tried to intimidate pupils with inappropriate and threatening gestures."

'Prison-like feel'

West Midlands Police supported the plans, the report said, as the fence would help to combat significant levels of crime in the grounds of the school.

"The police's subsequent investigations of the incidents have suggested that offenders are moving from one rear garden to another in order to access the school, exploiting any 'weak spots' they come across in the boundary."

But the report said some nearby residents have complained the fence had an "industrial and gloomy appearance and it has given their gardens a "prison-like feel".

Some also feared a small gap between the school fence and an adjacent fence would fill with rubbish.

Image caption A pile of rubbish is present in one corner of the boundary between the school and the homes

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites