Knife-wielding robbers, night-time burglars and organised thieves have been jailed for close to 50 years following investigations carried out by a single Kent Police team.
Cases built by the Chief Constable’s Crime Squad led to offenders being jailed for a total of 48 years and two months across August 2021.
Over the same period the team, which primarily investigates burglary and robbery offences, also made 20 arrests, and received authority to issue 78 new charges.
Detective Chief Inspector Matt Talboys, who leads the team, said: ‘The results achieved in August have removed dangerous individuals from the street and made our communities safer.
‘A lot of the criminals we investigate commit an offence because they think the odds are in their favour, possibly by possessing a weapon or by entering a victim’s home in the middle of the night.
‘Many of those who faced enforcement action in August have found out we’re prepared to get down to their level by obtaining warrants, forcing our way into their homes, and arresting them when they least suspect it.
‘We’re going to continue to use every power available to us to ensure robust action is taken against offenders like this.’
Among those jailed are three robbers who, between them, threatened three different victims with knives across Dover and Aylesham. They were jailed for a combined total of 17 years and nine months.
Elsewhere in Dover, a man who stole computers, bank cards and cash from two properties in East Cliff was jailed for two years and three months. He was arrested within hours of the second offence after a PCSO recognised him from CCTV that showed him using a victim’s bank card in a fraudulent transaction.
Also jailed was an organised thief who targeted shop keepers who had bought tobacco products from wholesalers in Gillingham and Rochester. He was one of three men involved in five different thefts over a four-week period and was jailed for two years and three months. His co-offenders are awaiting sentence.
The theft of high value electrical items, worth at least £75,000, following shop burglaries in Tunbridge Wells and Ashford also led to a 27-month jail sentence for a different offender.
Although these cases have concluded, the Crime Squad has commenced proceedings against numerous individuals – several of whom were brought into custody following dawn warrants at their home address.
Among those charged are two Thanet women who are alleged to have conspired to burgle numerous homes across east Kent to steal medication. They have been remanded in custody and are due to appear before Canterbury Crown Court in early September.
Dawn warrants at properties in Dagenham, Essex, also led to two men and a teenage boy being arrested in connection with a series of car key burglaries committed in Strood, Wainscott and Maidstone.
One of these offenders has been charged and remanded in custody ahead of a future appearance at Maidstone Crown Court, while the other two have been released as enquiries continue.
Alleged knife-point robbers have also been charged and remanded in custody ahead of court dates. These include a man who is said to have targeted a Chatham taxi driver and a suspect who stole from a woman after she was seen winning cash at an amusement arcade in Leysdown.
DCI Talboys added: ‘If you look at our results for the calendar year to date, offenders have been jailed for around 240 years with many more cases expected to be wrapped up in court this month.
‘We’re going to continue making the county a difficult place for criminals to operate. Anyone with aspirations to commit similar offences needs to only look at the results we are achieving, month in month out, to see there is a high likelihood of them being pursued by our team and brought to justice.’