More than a dozen arrests have been made as Kent Police targets individuals involved in nuisance and abusive behaviour.
Between Monday 19 and Sunday 25 July, foot patrols took place across the county with officers having a specific focus on combatting anti-social behaviour (ASB) and engaging with the communities they serve.
As a result, two vandals were caught spray painting a wall, a dozen uninsured e-scooters were seized, and alleged drug dealers were arrested.
The action was taken to support ASB Awareness Week, a national campaign backed by the Home Office and National Police Chiefs’ Council.
Assistant Chief Constable Peter Ayling said: ‘Anti-social behaviour is an unacceptable nuisance that can have a serious impact on an affected area. It is often caused by a very small number of people, but we are not blind to its wide-reaching impact.
‘Day in, day out, our officers provide a visible presence in the communities they serve, and work in close partnership with local councils to prevent future incidents taking place. This week of action complemented these efforts and provided us with an important opportunity to raise awareness and engage with our communities.
‘Our efforts will not stop, and I encourage anyone with a concern to report it to us. We will always review information provided and seek to take the most robust, and proportionate, course of action.’
High footfall areas across the county were regularly visited, from Mote Park in Maidstone to Woodlands Park in Gravesend, and Calverley Park in Tunbridge Wells to Victoria Park in Ashford.
A 57-year-old man of no fixed address, was detained in Knightrider Street, Maidstone, on Tuesday 20 July on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly. He was later charged with the offence, and assaulting an emergency services worker, before being remanded in custody to attend Folkestone Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 29 July.
A day later man aged 41, of Union Street, Maidstone, was arrested in Week Street, Maidstone, and charged with causing criminal damage to a nearby shop front. He has been released on bail to attend Maidstone Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 24 August.
Meanwhile, in Deal, two men were arrested after they were seen graffitiing in the Park Avenue area. They have since apologised to the landowner and are in the process of agreeing a suitable course of action which could include them removing the damage themselves or paying for it to be cleaned.
Six arrests were made across Faversham and Sittingbourne, with the reasons for arrest including shoplifting, assault, drink driving, possessing a bladed article and drug dealing. Each detainee has been released from custody, as officers continue to investigate the circumstances.
A further four people were detained in Folkestone four, including one aged 27, who has since been charged with taking a motor vehicle without consent, driving without a licence or insurance and failing to provide a specimen for analysis.
The 27-year-old, from Folkestone, has been released on bail to attend Folkestone Magistrates’ Court on 26 August.
Three people were arrested in Tunbridge Wells for their alleged involvement in county lines drug dealing. They have each been released under investigation.
An outstanding shoplifting suspect was also arrested in Stephens Walk, Ashford, by the town’s Community Policing Team. He has been released from custody while officers continue to prepare a case file.
Dispersals and vehicle seizures
Proactive patrolling in Cobham led to three off road motorcyclists being dispersed from a field off Batts Road, with similar action taken when youths were seen gathering in Castleridge Lakes, Greenhithe.
A small stretch of the A20, near Wrotham, which is known to attract gatherings of motorcyclists riding in an anti-social manner was also regularly patrolled, with no new offences identified.
The Canterbury Community Safety Unit targeted the illegal and anti-social use of e-scooters across the city centre. Eleven uninsured e-scooters were subsequently seized, and each rider was issued with a traffic offence report.
An e-scooter was also seized in Margate after its rider was seen travelling the wrong way down a one-way street. The matter has been reported to Kent Police’s Central Processing Unit, who will determine an appropriate course of action.
In addition to dealing with spontaneous incidents, a particular focus for patrolling officers was to engage with the communities they serve and hear of any concerns residents may have.
To achieve this end, PCSOs working in the Swale Community Safety Unit joined forces with Swale Borough Council to run a pop-up information stand in Sittingbourne High Street.
In Tunbridge Wells, officers held a special youth engagement event with Salus Youth Provision and the St Giles Trust in Calverley Park. During this they reminded attendees of the need to take personal responsibility for their conduct while participating in activities which included archery and football.
A focus on youth engagement could also be seen in Dartford, with officers working closely with community group Youth Konnect to interact with young people.
In the east of the county, PCSOs in Thanet visited various housing estates where ASB has been reported. While there, they provided advice to residents on support available to them. Similar action was taken in Shepway, Maidstone, by officers working within the town’s task force.
And across Dover and Deal, six people known to be repeat ASB offenders were specifically visited for words of advice to be provided. A further two homes, belonging to people vulnerable to exploitation by county lines drug dealing, were also checked.
Report a concern
Anyone affected by ASB is encouraged not to tolerate it and to make a report via the Kent Police website, or by calling 101.
If a crime is progress, dial 999.
Further information and advice can also be found by visiting: https://www.kent.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/asb/asb/antisocial-behaviour/