SPEED checks and extra patrols will be staged by police in Dudley as the easing of restrictions causes an increase in crime.

Dudley police said the easing of restrictions has already caused a hike in crime. 

They said people can expect to see more officers out and about as they stage a series of operations to combat the increase. 

They said the "looser restrictions now allowing more people to leave home and enjoy time in bars and public spaces" have led to an upturn in crime.

They pledged to carry out: "Extra patrols in areas where crime has risen most in recent weeks; speed checks on busier roads; searches in parks for knives and other weapons; schools inputs on anti-social behaviour and knife crime; robbery prevention events and bike marking sessions as well as test purchases with Trading Standards."

The released a statement saying: "Coronavirus restrictions are lifting today (July 19) and we understand that some of you might be feeling anxious or worried.

"The national lockdown that ended on March 29 caused a really big reduction in crime, similar to that seen at the beginning of the pandemic last year.

"But with looser restrictions now allowing more people to leave home and enjoy time in bars and public spaces, figures have already been rising.

"You might see more officers out and about in Dudley this week than you have in the last 18 months.

"Please don’t be alarmed, they’re simply there to keep you safe, deter and prevent crime."