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Traders join in fighting late night crime....26 October 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 11:10 AM

Restaurateurs, publicans, night club owners, hoteliers and taxi firms are being encouraged to work together to help reduce late night crime in Folkestone.

A Night Time Forum has been set up by South East Kent police, Shepway Council and local traders to tackle the issues that mainly affect the night time economy such as alcohol-related violence and criminal damage.

The forum has developed from the successful Folkestone Partnership Against Crime who recently won the coveted Safety Shopping Award.

The Night Time Forum will adopt the same principles as the partnership where the group is linked by a network of radios and the CCTV system so each member can raise the alarm about pickpockets, shoplifters, drug dealers, illegal parkers, and drunks.

Persistent offenders can then be banned from all the shops and businesses in the partnership.

The forum is holding its first meeting between 2pm and 4pm on Thursday, 24 October at Club Indigo, Marine Parade, Folkestone.

Members will be discussing the introduction of safer glasses that disintegrate when smashed, the banning of bottles from the streets, better lighting and improved CCTV coverage and a review of transport bringing revellers to and from the nightspots.

Sgt John Merritt of the Strategic Crime Reduction Unit said: "We want to generate ideas and develop good practices and would like to see night time activities that cater for all ages, not just the 18 to 25 group, and not just pursuits that rely on alcohol.

"This body will give the traders a voice and some influence when it comes to the changing face of Folkestone."

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Villager's in pilot scheme to protect the elderly....26 October 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 11:09 AM

South East Kent police in partnership with Kent County Council and Kent Police Authority have launched a pilot `Nominated Neighbour Scheme' to protect elderly and vulnerable members of the community from bogus callers who prey on them to commit distraction burglaries.

Around 300 residents in the rural areas of Lyminge, Elham and Etchinghill near Folkestone are being sent a special laminated notice that they can give to any caller whom they do not recognise. The notice reads:

"I DO NOT RECOGNISE YOU, Please go to No: __ who is my nominated neighbour. They will check your identity and return with you."

Residents can choose a neighbour or friend who lives nearby to be the nominated person who deals with callers.

Genuine officials from the utility companies will not mind waiting a few extra minutes, whilst their identity is checked and it is hoped this scheme will deter the bogus callers.

Tessa Bedwell, the Rural Community Warden for Lyminge, Elham and Etchinghill, heard about a similar scheme that had been run in Gwent where the number of distraction burglaries was reduced by 75 per cent as a result of the campaign, and thought the idea could be successful here.

Tessa has organised the printing of the laminated notice and the collation of the information packs having secured funding from the Rural Partnership - a Kent County Council initiative designed to reduce crime.

Tessa said: "The nominated neighbour scheme is a simple yet effective way of ensuring people are safe in their own homes from unwanted callers and potential burglars. I am confident the pilot scheme will be a success and hope it can eventually be rolled out across South East Kent, and perhaps the whole county."

The launch of the pilot scheme coincides with new research carried out by NOP for British Gas that found the number of elderly people whom experience bogus caller victimisation is higher than official statistics suggest.

South East Kent DS Pete Simmons said: "These are despicable crimes committed against the most vulnerable members of our society, and any initiative which will help to prevent the residents of South East Kent becoming victims is most welcomed.

"This should send out a clear message to anyone contemplating this sort of crime. They will be challenged and if they are caught they will be prosecuted with the full rigour the law allows."

The pack contains instructions for using the nominated neighbour scheme, general advice to avoid becoming a victim of distraction burglary, and information about the services provided by the Handy Van Scheme, such as having door chains fitted free.

The pilot scheme is being launched in Lyminge Elham and Etchinghill and South East Kent police have secured some funding to expand this scheme and are currently seeking sponsorship from local companies and organisations. If anyone is able to provide financial help, they are asked to contact 01303 289 014.

Packs are being distributed by Age Concern, and will be available at GP's surgeries, and the library. If people want a pack they can also contact Tessa Bedwell on 07970 506 764.

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Undies auction proves a winner....24 October 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 11:08 AM

A Charity Auction at The Ship Inn Dymchurch with Neptune Radio DJ’s Richard Adams, Johnny Lewis and Spencer Cork could prove to be both novel and naughty.

Richard will be presenting the successful bidder of the online auction with his “undies�

An auction and raffle of donations from businesses in and around Shepway and Whitecliffs Country together with lots of fun and games will raise loads of cash for the BBC's Children in Need charities

The event on Thursday 14th November at 7.30pm is the finale of several weeks of activity involving the Dymchurch Online website and the Neptune Radio DJ's.

To see the current highest bid for Richard's "undies" visit www.dymchurchonline.com the successful bidder will be announced by Richard Adams on Neptune Radio"on air" Weds 13th November at 4.15pm.

If you want to know more get in touch with Dymchurch Online

Tel. 01303 870171

e-mail: info@dymchurchonline.com

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Local sports facilities could benefit from KCC bonanza....20 October 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 11:06 AM

Sport in Kent has received good news from the New Opportunities Fund. The first stage bid for £10.5 million for new and improved facilities for sport and physical education has been successful.

There is still a second stage to the bid, which will involve working out the detail of the individual schemes to be funded. If the second stage bid is successful also, there will be an enormous benefit to the sports facility stock in Kent.

There are 68 facility development projects that stand to gain funding, with the majority of them being on school sites. The facilities include the construction and improvement of sports halls, the provision of new multi use games areas, upgrading of changing facilities and improvements to Kent’s outdoor education centres.

A sum of £474,726 of the £10.5 million is to be made available to pay for development costs associated with working up the details of the individual schemes.

KCC’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, Sarah Hohler, said: “This is exciting news. I am very pleased that Kent’s bid has been so well received by the New Opportunities Fund and that KCC played such a pivotal role in it through working with our partner organisations."

KCC’s Strategic Director for Education and Libraries, Graham Badman, said: “I am delighted that so many schools stand to benefit, for sport and physical education is an integral and vital ingredient of school life."

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Police Appeal after Bali terror attack....18 October 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 11:05 AM

The Metropolitan Police Anti-Terrorist Branch is appealing for information about Saturday's terrorist attack in Bali.

Officers are keen to speak to anyone who has returned from Bali in the last few days, and believe they may have seen something suspicious, particularly in the Kuta Beach resort which was the target of the terrorist attack.

They would also like to hear from anybody who took home video footage or photographs in the area, as these may be of help to the Indonesian authorities.

DAC Peter Clarke, National Co-ordinator for Terrorism, said: "I would urge anyone with information, or who thinks they saw something suspicious during their stay in Bali, to contact the Anti-Terrorist Branch Hotline on 0800 789 321.

"We are especially interested in hearing from people who were in the vicinity of the Sari nightclub in Kuta Beach on Saturday evening."

A team of officers from the Metropolitan Police Service Anti-Terrorist Branch travelled to Bali on Sunday following the attacks.

The team will be supporting the Indonesian authorities investigating the incident, and offering assistance in the identification of victims and forensic examination.

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Youngsters sign up for Bike and Skate park....18 October 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 11:04 AM

Parish Councillor Cyril Trice is backing local youngsters who want a Skateboard and BMX park.

Cllr Trice has organised a petition which will be handed to Hawkinge Parish and Shepway District Councils.

The youngsters are currently using the earth mounds opposite the Churchill School in Haven Drive but they are looking for a permanent site.

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Relief as Swingfield Church couple pull out....18 October 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 11:03 AM

St Peter's Church in Swingfield will not now be converted into a house.

The 12th century Church will now be subject to further discussions as to it's future now that the couple who planned to convert it to a house have withdrawn their interest.

Mark Stevens and Debbie Young lost their first application to turn the Church into a house but won on appeal.

There has been considerable opposition from villagers after the plans were approved

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