(for latest alerts please scroll down)
CRIME PREVENTION & SAFETY ADVICE
NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH OPERATES THROUGHOUT SANDYHURST LANE AND THE ADJOINING AREA
Sandyhurst Lane Residents’ Association (SLRA) operates a Neighbourhood Watch scheme throughout its area. Although this comprises nearly 350 properties, the essential local character of Neighbourhood Watch has been achieved by breaking the overall area down into ten local areas, each of them coordinated by a volunteer. The ten areas are as follows:
Neighbourhood Watch is a scheme to promote good citizenship in the local community and to encourage greater awareness and participation in the prevention and detection of crime. All members are issued with a sticker to identify their property as part of the scheme, together with information from the Home Office on home security. A number of street signs have also been erected, to identify clearly that this is a Neighbourhood Watch area.
Intelligence on crime incidents and suspicious activity are passed between participating residents and the Kent Police, usually via the local coordinator.
This allows a fast transfer of information, principally by email, with alerts from the police being distributed to residents and intelligence reports from residents being passed on to the police. Residents are encouraged to report suspicious activity or other information likely to be useful in fighting crime, either to their local coordinator or directly to the police using the 101 telephone service.
SLRA has the infrastructure for organisation of this scheme and is able to offer membership of Neighbourhood Watch at no extra cost to its members.
Neighbourhood Watch: Latest Alerts
If you can help with any of the reported crimes, please call 101 or 01622 690690 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Calls to 101 are charged at 15p, irrespective of duration, from both land lines and mobiles.
13 June 2021
Phishing emails and texts
Beware of the multitude of phishing scam emails and texts in wide circulation. Never click on a link in
an unsolicited email or text message. Common impersonations include Banks, TV licencing, DVLA, HMRC and delivery companies like Hermes, DPD, Fedex etc, asking for payment for undelivered parcels. Do not respond - Hermes, for example, have at the top of their tracking website: "We’ll never ask you to pay for a parcel redelivery. Be phishing aware."
If you wish to report suspicious emails and text messages, emails can be forwarded to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS): email@example.com and SMS text messages can be reported to your network service provider, free of charge, by forwarding the scam SMS to 7726.
If you’ve lost money or provided personal information as a result of a phishing scam, notify your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud.
10 June 2021
One of our members in Sandyhurst Lane was the victim of a scam a few days ago. Please see the following account sent to us:
Incident on Monday 7th June 2021
I was working at the back of the house when the doorbell rang mid-morning and I answered because I was expecting a parcel. A young chap said he was embarrassed to call but they were waiting for delivery of scaffolding for a job further down the Lane and he'd noticed that the hip tile on the eastern end of the house was coming out. He had two other less presentable chaps with him in the transit van. I asked where their other job was and they said with Mrs Green. Later they said it was a bungalow near the sharp bend next to a house with an entrance arch.
We went to the back to have a look and it did look slightly raised but now under calmer inspection the other end looks the same. I accepted their offer of pushing the tile back in but whilst up on the roof they discovered the hip ridge at the front western end was loose and the chap hauled it up much to my dismay. Also one of them took a loose brick out at the top of the east chimney. So the first quote was £450 to stabilise the hip ridge then £850 to point the chimney on two sides. Then there were more quotes getting higher and higher and I should have been warned when they said it was for cash only no cheques. Also he got upset when I went to write down the amounts until I said I couldn't remember them with all the changes. In hindsight, he probably thought I was taking their van number which didn't occur to me until too late.
I asked him his name and he only gave a first name which I can't remember but it was unusual and began with Cum I think. He brought out a sign from the van - Sharp Builders & Landscapes. He also said he lived at Teynham near his Grandfather's large fruit farm. I said I'd phone a friend down the road to see if he knew Mrs Green then he pretended to be upset because I still doubted him and said they wouldn't do the chimney but by then the chaps had cemented the ridge and the chimney brick. He said they wanted the money straight away so I went to the Building Society and the Bank hut luckily I could only draw out £650 altogether on one day. They must have followed me in because I met them as I was returning to the car in Sturges Road and they took the money. They then turned unpleasant and bullying saying we'd have to return to the house for the £200. In fact I'd said I never kept more than £200 at home and It turned out to be £180.
I shall be getting the builder to inspect their work especially as it looks as if some of the tiles above the gutter are out of alignment. This has been a salutary and upsetting lesson and I can’t believe I could have been so naive and gullible.
We are grateful to the member concerned for sharing this story with other residents. The incident is being reported to the police. If you have any relevant information, please let us know.
Please be vigilant and DO NOT respond to cold callers at your door, on the phone, on emails, texts or contacting you by any other means.
15 May 2021
1. New Census Scam
Kent residents are being targeted by a text scam, pretending to be from the UK Government Census 2021. The text will say that information is missing from your application.
How it works –
- You receive a text message pretending to be from UK Government Census.
- The text will say that information is missing from your application.
- You will be directed to a website to update your details to avoid a £1,000 penalty.
This is a SCAM
If you believe you have fallen victim to this, then contact your Bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. Additionally, you can get assistance or advice by speaking to Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133.
2. Malware scam
Be aware of the below text message scam that infects Android mobile phones with malicious software (malware), which is targeting people in the UK.
If you click on the link contained in the text message, then the malware will attempt to infect Android based Smartphones (it won’t infect iOS but does redirect Apple users to a phishing site) with spyware, which hides in the background while snooping on all your sensitive data and credit card details. Additionally, it will send out spam infected messages to all your contacts.
If your phone becomes infected, contact your mobile phone provider straight away.
3. iTunes Phishing Scam
A new iTunes phishing email states that there has been a purchase on your account and if not you, to press a cancellation link. If you click the link, it will take you to a convincing website, where they steal your details. If you get one of these, please do not click on the link and forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you believe you have fallen victim to this scam, then contact your Bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
15 January 2021
Shed lock removed - Sandyhurst Lane
Between 1600 hours on 13/01/21 and 0900 hours on 14/01/21, a padlock cut off a garden shed in Sandyhurst Lane to gain entry, nothing was stolen. Crime reference number 46/6998/21.
30 December 2020
Attempted burglary in Lenacre Street
The following message has been posted this morning by a resident living in Lenacre Street:orry to report that we had our shed broken into last night, bolt cutters were used to gain entry.
The shed only has garden furniture and as far as I can tell nothing was taken, which was fortunate for us.
We live on Lenacre Street, but probably worth a check on out buildings wherever you are in the area.
2 December 2020
Annual policing survey
Please see this document for an opportunity to contribute views on Kent policing to the Kent Police & Crime Commissioner.
The online survey is at https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/KentPCCAnnualPolicingSurvey/.
15 October 2020
Theft from car in Sandyhurst Lane
There have been a number of reports of thefts from cars in Ashford recently. Last night, one occurred in Sandyhurst Lane. We have received the following message from a member living in the “300s”:
Last night 14th around 23.30 two persons removed goods from our next door neighbour’s car and tried the door on our car. They were caught on our neighbours cctv and the police were informed.
Please ensure that all vehicles are securely locked, that no goods are left on view inside vehicles and that keys are not left in “fishing” distance of the letterbox (eg on the hall table).
22 September 2020
Theft of tools in Sandyhurst Lane
Between 22:45 on 17 September and 12:00 on 21 September, garden tools and equipment were stolen in the Sandyhurst Lane area. These included 2 chain saws, 2 hedge trimmers, a leaf blower and a petrol can. If you have any information which may be useful to the investigation of this incident please call 101 and quote crime report number – 46/169156/20.
31 August 2020
Burglaries in Maidstone Road, Hothfield
We have received the following information in two messages from a resident in Maidstone Road (A20), Hothfield:
I have just moved into a property in Maidstone Road, Hothfield.
This morning about 10:30hrs I noticed the side door of a trailer parked at the bottom of my garden was open. Upon inspection I also noticed that an attempt had been made to break into my garage. They had not gained entry and nothing was stolen. The damage was minimal. There is a public footpath running along the side of my property however there were no foot prints in the field at the back. This attempted break in occurred between 21:30hrs & 08:30hrs the night of Saturday 29 August.
I now understand that another two properties have reported that their out buildings where broken into last night and property stolen. Vehicle tyre tracks were found in the field to the rear. The gate to the field off Sandy Lane has had the padlock removed and it is the consensus that this was the point of entry for the vehicle to the rear of the properties. Two properties have items stolen from out buildings and owners have reported the thieves to the police. Currently we cannot secure our land due to the public footpath entry point that, by law, has to be kept accessible 24/7.
Please stay vigilant.
13 June 2020
Suspicious activity in Sandyhurst Lane
We have received the following message from a member living in the middle part of Sandyhurst Lane, about suspicious activity yesterday evening:
I wanted to make you aware of some suspicious activity that has happened this evening, I got home from work at 6.45 to find a b class Mercedes car parked on my driveway with 4 what looked like foreign looking men in it and when I asked what they were doing they hid their faces and drove off, I spoke with my wife and she said there was a brick placed in the middle of our drive which she found odd as it’s not any of ours and since 6.45 and now 7.30 the car with the 4 men in has been past twice, the registration is GJ06 PKC Mercedes b class grey/silver in colour, we have a new caravan on the drive and think they may have been looking at that and know there are a number of houses with caravans on their driveways so could you just let slra members know and keep a look out if they see the car.
Please be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to 101.
13 May 2020
Theft in Maidstone Road
It is reported that on 12/13 May 2020 between 1400 and 0110, two plant pots were stolen from a property in Maidstone Road (A20). If you have any information, please call 101, quoting crime reference 46/80543/20.
5 April 2020
We have received the following message from a member:
“Just had a call allegedly from Sainsbury. One has to press any key to get message. I never have dealings with Sainsbury and they most certainly do not have my unlisted number. I presume this is yet another scam.”
Stay vigilant, stay safe, stay home!
19 March 2019
Covid19 scam alerts from Kent Trading Standards
Scammers and criminals are looking for opportunities to scam people as a result of the Coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic.
Kent Police warn of people door-knocking and claiming to be from the Health Authority.
- The criminal knocks on your door.
- They claim to be from the Health Authority.
- They offer to do COVID-19 testing on residents.
There are also reports of the criminal offering to take the resident’s temperature.
What to do:
- Do not let them in.
- Do not allow them to take any money or details from you.
- Report to Kent Police on 101.
If you ask them to leave and they don't, contact the police on 999.
There has been a report of an elderly Kent resident who lost money when they gave their bank card to someone who offered to do some shopping for them. They received one of these cards through their door and an individual offered to help, however, they actually stole money from the resident and were not seen again.
Don’t ever give your bank or card details to anyone, even if you think you know them very well. You could either agree to pay in cash after they have delivered the shopping or pay them online if you have the facility to do so. Or maybe you could agree another method of payment - but never give your bank or card details.
17 March 2019
Covid19: Scam alert
One of the UK's intelligence agencies has made a rare announcement to warn the public about criminals who are using the coronavirus outbreak to launch online attacks. Experts from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) - a part of GCHQ - have said that a range of attacks are being conducted by cyber criminals to make money out of exploiting people's fears over COVID-19. Bogus emails posing as communications from health authorities are being sent with links claiming to provide important updates, which when clicked instead lead to devices being infected with malware. The NCSC stated:
"Individuals in the UK have been targeted by these coronavirus-themed phishing emails, with infected attachments containing fictitious 'safety measures'." Internationally, organisations such as the US Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organisation have been impersonated by cyber criminals.”
20 December 2019
Doorstep scammer warning
owners are being warned of doorstep scammers offering sub-standard building work at unreasonably high prices. Kent residents are urged to stay vigilant and report any suspicions of rogue traders, not only to protect themselves but their neighbours too – some of whom may be particularly vulnerable.October 2019
Recently one elderly victim paid out thousands of pounds for roofing work in Allington, which was not only found to be overpriced but left incomplete. The victim reported paying out a substantial amount of money after receiving a flyer through his door offering building and maintenance services. Around 10 days later he received a visit from two men who stated the victim’s roof was in desperate need of work. The work was carried in November 2019 but the man was left with missing roof tiles and holes in his ceiling. The victim has since been unable to reach those who carried out the work.
On Thursday 12 December a 27-year-old woman was arrested and interviewed by officers investigating the work and detectives continue to carry out enquiries. Anyone with information about rogue traders in the area is urged to call Kent Police on 01622 604100 quoting reference 46/220565/19.
Detective Sergeant Marc Cananur said: ‘Sadly criminals will look to exploit the more vulnerable members of our communities and we urge all residents to be mindful that not everyone selling a product has good intentions. ‘Whilst we work with partner agencies in order to protect those most vulnerable we would encourage people to look out for one another and report anything suspicious straight away by calling 101, visiting the website or dialling 999 if a crime is taking place.’
Residents are reminded to be cautious about who they open the door to and stick to the following advice:
• If someone knocks at your door, always refuse on the spot repairs or maintenance.
• Don't allow anyone to pressure you into agreeing to have work carried out. If you ask them to leave and they don't, contact the police on 999.
• Don't ever go to a bank or cash point with a trader; legitimate traders would never do this.
• Use reputable traders who are members of the KCC Trading Standards approved trader scheme, run in partnership with Checkatrade.
• Ask for quotes in writing and check that the tradesperson is from the company they say they are from.
Theft in Sandyhurst Lane
A resident living at the Hoads Wood end of Sandyhurst Lane has reported that last night between midnight and
7-00 am this morning two heavy ornamental stone lions were stolen from her front porch.
If you have any information which might be relevant (eg strangers/vehicles in the vicinity last night), please report it to the police on 101.
Please remain vigilant.
24 September 2019
Mugging in Westwell Lane
A mugging took place in Westwell Lane, Potters Corner last Monday 16th Sept at about 7.00 am when a woman was physically attacked and her purse stolen. The perpetrator was a “scruffy young white male wearing a dark shell suit”. It started at the railway end of the Lane and continued towards Sandyhurst Lane. He ran off towards Potters Close.
Anyone with information or video footage should call 101. Be extra vigilant when out walking alone in the area.
29 March 2019
The Spring 2019 issue of 'Rural Matters', about rural policing in Kent, has just been published and may be viewed here.
21 March 2019
Burglary and vehicle theft in Sandyhurst Lane
Between 1352 and 1400 hours on 20 March 2019, car keys and a black Audi Quattro S4 – Registration number S6 ASJ - were stolen from a property in Sandyhurst Lane. The suspects entered the property via a ground floor window to steal keys. Both male suspects were wearing dark clothing. If you have any information, please call 101, quoting crime reference 46/52905/19.
15 March 2019
Information sought after watches stolen during aggravated burglary
Information is being sought by officers who are investigating a report of an aggravated burglary at an Ashford home. It was reported that between 8pm and 11.50pm on Wednesday 6 March 2019, two men entered a property in Westwell, and although the victim, a man in his 70s, was not injured, threats to use kitchen knives from the property to harm him were made if he tried to raise the alarm. A number of designer handbags, jewellery and watches were stolen.
Seven watches have been described as follows:
A stainless steel Breitling for Bentley watch with a black face; a stainless steel Frank Muller King Conquistador watch with a red face; a black steel chronograph Uboat watch; a stainless steel Panerai, a stainless steel chrome Rolex Daytona featuring a white face; a Cartier Ballon Bleu watch with a stainless steel and gold strap with a diamond bezel; and a IWC perpetual calendar big pilot featuring a rose gold case with a brown leather strap.
The first man was described as a slim white man, 6ft tall, and dressed in black with ski mask covering his face. The second man was also a slim white man, around 6ft tall. He had dark brown eyes, and also wore black clothing. Both spoke with eastern European accents.
Anyone who has information is asked to call Kent Police on 01843 222289 quoting 46/43263/19.
In particular police are interested if anyone saw a white van in or around the area at the time.
Alternatively, you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers in Kent anonymously on 0800 555111.
9 March 2019
Serious crime in Westwell
We have received the following message from Cllr Christine Drury, Chairman of Westwell Parish Council, about a serious crime in Westwell village:
On Wednesday March 6th at approximately 9.30pm there was a break-in on Gold Hill in Westwell village opposite the playing field. The occupant of the house at the time was held at knife-point for two hours while the house was ransacked.
A white transit van with an 07 or 05 number plate has been connected with the crime. It was parked outside the house during the armed robbery.
If you were in the area and saw anything at around that time, or if you have any CCTV footage that could help, please contact the police.
Please help if you can. If you would rather not contact the police directly, please contact the Parish Clerk, Sue Wood on 01233 623902. Sadly this is a reminder that although Westwell is normally a low-crime parish, horrendous events do happen, so we must all remain vigilant .
18 December 2018
Burglary in Kennington
Detectives investigating a burglary at a home in Ashford are appealing for information.
A property in Jersey Close, Kennington, is reported to have been targeted between 1pm and 4.10pm on Thursday 13 December 2018. A quantity of jewellery was taken following an untidy search of the home. Officers would like to hear from anyone who believes they witnessed anything suspicious in the area on the afternoon of 13 December.
They are also releasing images of some of the stolen items and would like to hear from anyone who believes they may have recently been offered them for sale. Anyone with information can call Kent Police on 01843 222289 quoting 46/23457/18. Alternatively you can contact the independent charity 'Crimestoppers in Kent' anonymously on 0800 555 111.
4 December 2018
Burglary in Maidstone Road
A burglary took place in Maidstone Road between 0001 on 16 November and 1200 on 17 November 2018. A variety of power tools were stolen: Honda Hedge Cutter, Spear and Jackson chainsaw, Stihl Chainsaw, 2 x Bosch Hammer drills. If you have any information, plese call 101, quoting crime reference 46/16924/18.
29 November 2018
Attempted burglary in Sandyhurst Lane
An attempted burglary took place in Sandyhurst Lane between 1240 and 2000 on 18 November 2018. Garage doors were forced and damaged, but it is believed that no entry was gained and nothing was taken. If you have any information, please call 101, quoting crime reference 46/13884/18.
22 October 2018
Theft from vehicle in Hothfield
Between 19.45 and 21.30 on 21 October a gold Range Rover in Maidstone Road, Hothfield was broken into by breaking the rear side window. An HP laptop was stolen. If you have any information, please call 101, quoting crime reference ZY/62883/18.
16 October 2018
Theft from vehicle in Kennington
Between 19.00 on 12 October and 07.00 on 13 October a white van in Guernsey Way, Kennington was broken into. A superdry coat, safety trainers and 2 screwdrivers were stolen. If you have any information, please call 101, quoting crime reference ZY/61612/18.
3 September 2018
Theft from vehicle in Warren Lane
Between 12.30 and 13.00 on 2 September the side window of a silver Chrysler Grand Voyager was broken in Warren Lane. A wallet, bank cards and driving licence were stolen. If you have any information, plese call 101, quoting crime reference ZY/51790/18.
15 June 2018
Burglary in Kennington
Between 1945 and 1956 hours on 12 June, a property in Friesian Way, Kennington was burgled. A gold ruby ring and keys to a vehicle were stolen. If you have any information which may be useful to the investigation of this incident please call 101 and quote crime report number – ZY/033388/18.
11 June 2018
Theft of scooter in Kennington
A silver Yamaha XC123 scooter, parked outside the owner's property, was stolen from Hurst Road, Kennington between 0800 on 8 June and 1120 on 9 June 2018. If you have any information, plese call 101, quoting crime reference ZY/32125/18.
6 June 2018
Theft from garage in Kennington
A Qualcast strimmer was stolen from a locked garage at the Trinity Road end of Hurst Road, Kennington, between 15.45 and 16.00 on 5 June. If you have any information, please call 101, quoting reference ZY/31168/18.
5 June 2018
Vandalsm near Sandyacres
We have received the following message from a member living near Sandyacres:
Just to report an act of serious vandalism yesterday just after 3pm (Monday 4th June). 3 youths aged 15/16 on BMX bikes were seen trying to destroy the footpath lights at the cycleway entrance to Sandyacres in full view. When challenged having completely destroyed one light they gave a lot of verbal and threatening abuse and threw the very heavy light top towards the man who tried to stop them but it just fell in the road. The incident was reported to the police.
Please keep a look out for, and report to the police, any repetition.
2 June 2018
Burglary in Westwell
The police have notified us of the following crime (burglary) which occurred in the centre of Westwell village last Tuesday.
Between 1430 and 1500 hours on 29th May a property in Westwell Lane, Westwell was burgled when x2 Dell laptops, x2 Sony TV, x2 Jewellery c/w jewellery and a money box were taken. The possible suspects are two slim males using small white van.
We have also had a report from another resident in the village stating that:
“I think I can describe them as they came round here the same day, apparently planning something similar. I was in my study around 3 pm when a small and ugly white van or estate drove in through the gates. There were two young men in it dressed in high vis jackets, who when they saw me asked if I knew some property in the village I had never heard of before. I told them that no such place existed, and was about to ask why they had driven into my property, but before I could do so they smartly reversed out of the drive and sped off”.
If you saw anything suspicious during the week please report it to the police by phoning 101 and using Crime Reference No: ZY 29790.
10 April 2018
Theft from van in Kennington
On the 9th April between the hours of 0530 and 0600, the passenger window was broken and tools taken from a van parked in Towers View, Kennington. Items taken include a disc cutter, Makita demolition breaker and a 9” angle grinder. If you have any information which may be useful to the investigation of this incident please call 101 and quote crime report number – ZY/18019/18.
7 February 2018
BMW owners urged to be vigilant
Kent Police is urging BMW owners to be vigilant after four thefts from cars were reported in the Godinton Park area of Ashford in the space of 48 hours. A steering wheel was stolen from a BMW convertible parked in Sweet Bay Crescent in the early hours of Monday 5 February 2018. A dashboard, steering wheel, dashcam and onboard computer were stolen from a BMW parked in Sweet Bay Crescent overnight between Monday 5 and Tuesday 6 February 2018. The same night a steering wheel, satnav system and a stereo were stolen from a BMW in Sweet Bay Crescent and a centre console, steering wheel and golf clubs were stolen from a BMW parked in nearby Spindlewood End.
Sergeant Jasmine Bloomfield of the Ashford Community Safety Unit said: ‘Similar thefts have been reported in north and west Kent and we will be working closely with our colleagues in other areas so that we can identify the culprits as swiftly as possible'.
‘In the meantime we ask residents to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour to call 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress'.
‘We also urge car owners in the Godinton Park area, particularly those with BMWs, to park their cars in a well-lit place, on a driveway or in a garage overnight if possible.’
Police have issued descriptions of two men they would like to speak to. One is described as being tall and wearing a long coat and a baseball cap. The other is described as shorter and was wearing a beanie hat and a rucksack.
Sergeant Bloomfield said: ‘We would also like to hear from anyone who has been offered BMW parts for sale.’
If you can help, please phone Kent Police on 01843 222289 or Kent Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 quoting crime reference number ZY/6033/18.
23 January 2018
Theft from car in Sainsburys car park
A theft from a motor vehicle has occurred in the car park of Sainsbury’s in Simone Weil Avenue, Ashford between the times of 0945 hours on the 22nd January and 1415 hours on the same day. The index plates were removed and stolen displaying GJ62 FHO. If you have any information which may be useful to the investigation of this incident please call 101 and quote crime report number ZY/3642/18.
19 January 2018
New online crime reporting trial
Kent Police are running a pilot scheme for online reporting of non-emergency crimes and incidents as an alternative to calling 101. Once submitted, a reference number and copy of the report is sent to the person making the report. Full details are on the Kent Police website at https://www.kent.police.uk/services/report-online/.
12 January 2018
Attempted burglary in Kennington
An attempted burglary of a dwelling occurred in the Towers View area of Ashford between the times of 0300 hours on the 11th January and 0310 hours on the same day. Damage only. If you have any information which may be useful to the investigation of this incident please call 101 and quote crime report number – ZY/1605/18.
10 January 2018
Message from Kent Police & Crime Commissioner
We have received the following message from the Kent Police & Crime Commissioner:
Boosting Kent’s frontline – up to 200 more Police Officers and 80 more Police staff
Today I am announcing my draft funding proposals for Kent Police for 2018/19.
Over the past year, I have continued touring the county and speaking with local residents, community groups, businesses and charities to seek their views on Policing in Kent and Medway. I have spent time with the Police Officers, staff and volunteers serving on the frontline to hear their experiences too.
There is no doubt that Policing remains under pressure. There are ever-increasing numbers of calls to respond to, many of which are more complex and a growing number of which are not criminal in nature – such as support for vulnerable people in mental health crisis. All of this comes whilst Britain’s threat level for international terrorism is severe.
Despite all of this, Kent Police has been among the top-rated Forces in the country in independent inspections for efficiency, effectiveness and legitimacy in 2016 and 2017. They have been deemed “Good” or “Outstanding” in every assessment, bar one. Police Officer numbers have risen since I was elected and PCSO numbers have also been protected. Antisocial behaviour is down 11%. There is a new cyber-crime team and the Volunteer Police Cadets programme is back. I'm investing more in services for victims of crime and together we have fixed the firearms licensing backlog.
The Government has listened to the views of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and increased funding for counter terrorism by £50m and will be investing a further £130m in other national Policing schemes. In order to support local Policing, the Home Office has allowed PCCs to increase the council tax precept by £1 a month for an average household, which could raise up to £270m nationally. Together, this represents slightly more than the amount PCCs said we needed next year.
Taking into consideration the views of residents, community groups, businesses, and the operational needs of Policing in Kent, I am pleased to be proposing the biggest Kent Police recruitment drive for a considerable time.
In laying out my proposal I am empowering the Chief Constable to recruit up to 200 additional Police Officers in the next year. These will go into boosting a number of areas, including rural and roads policing, local communities, fighting cyber-crime and providing greater public protection, and will take the total number of Police Officers in Kent to its highest level since 2012.
In addition to this, I have listened to residents’ views about crime reporting, and so there will be a boost in the number of call handlers answering 999 and 101 calls, so that people can get help quicker and more information can be provided to the Police. This will be alongside the new online reporting service, which is available for certain issues for those who wish to use it. There will be over 80 new police staff roles that will cover this, as well as other areas of Policing.
This will be funded in four ways:
• I am asking residents to contribute the equivalent of an additional £1 per month from an average household towards the cost of Policing in Kent. This is not a request I am making lightly but is something I believe is necessary to keep Kent safe.
• I have reviewed Kent Police’s proposals for over £9m of cost savings and believe that, as they will have a minimal impact on the frontline, they should be delivered. There should be no excuse for using extra council tax to prop up inefficient practices and where better value for money can be delivered, it should be. This will help mitigate the pressures of pay and inflation.
• I am cutting the cost of my own office by £200,000 and re-investing this money in the frontline. I already provide extra money from my budget for Kent Police projects, such as the Volunteer Police Cadets and mental health workers in the Force Control Room.
• I am authorising the use of a further £5m of Kent Police’s reserves over three years, should it be required, to support the recruitment drive.
There will also be other opportunities to increase Police Officer numbers and improve services further. The Police Transformation Fund, worth £175m, has been made available by the Government for new projects that reform the way that Forces operate and I will encourage more bids to access some of this money. I will also continue to drive collaboration with police colleagues and other agencies to make best use of property and improve delivery.
This is an ambitious proposal. It will mean that residents get something back for the tax that they pay and value for money in what is spent in their name. It boosts Policing in Kent in urban and rural areas in the fight against antisocial behaviour, organised crime, fraud and cyber-crime, domestic abuse and road traffic offences. Victims will get a better service when they have been subject to heinous acts and more criminals will be brought to justice.
I hope that you will support this vital boost. Please email your thoughts to email@example.com by 27 January. The proposed precept rise will then go to the Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel for its approval on 8 February.
Protecting the rural character of Sandyhurst Lane and the adjoining area
|| Number of properties
|| Maidstone Road
3 - 8 Sandyhurst Lane
| Tony Bartlett
Ewe Cottage, Westwell Lane
|| Westwell Lane
|| Graham Mullaly
Oaklands, Westwell Lane
|| Hoads Wood Gardens
9 - 16 Sandyhurst Lane
| David Porter
6 Hoads Wood Gardens
|| 17 - 50 Sandyhurst Lane
| John Hobbs
33 Sandyhurst Lane
|| 51 - 81 Sandyhurst Lane
|| Desmond Henley
80 Sandyhurst Lane
|| 82 - 138 Sandyhurst Lane
|| Doug Harman
89 Sandyhurst Lane
|| 138a - 202 Sandyhurst Lane
|| Andy Peddle, 1 Lilac Cottage
141 Sandyhurst Lane
|| 250 - 360 Sandyhurst Lane
|| John Faulkner
Syringa, 382 Sandyhurst Lane
|| 362 - 404 Sandyhurst Lane
| John Faulkner
Syringa, 382 Sandyhurst Lane
|| Lenacre Street
| Bryan Hall
Hedge End, Lenacre Street