A Kent Police Community Support Officer has been broadcasting the importance of working together to ensure a trip to the seaside remains a safe experience for residents and visitors alike.
Thanet PCSO Lorissa Butcher has been encouraging the businesses based along Margate Main Sands to work together in discouraging crime and anti-social behaviour by joining an information-sharing initiative.
In time for the summer, PCSO Butcher visited all of the concessional businesses on the beachfront to offer crime prevention advice and speak about steps they could take to prepare themselves for a busy summer as lockdown restrictions were relaxed.
As a result, 14 radios were handed out as part of the Thanet Safe scheme, an initiative in Margate where businesses can use radios to speak to the local policing team, Thanet District Council Street Scene staff and CCTV operators to report any suspicious activity taking place.
Having been a PCSO for almost four years, PCSO Butcher, who has responsibility for the Margate Central ward, knows how busy the town can become during the holiday season.
PCSO Butcher explained: ‘Being a part of the scheme with ready access to a radio, means that businesses can flag up issues and share information about suspicious activity with other neighbouring businesses, such as reports of shoplifters seen in the area.
‘They can communicate with the CCTV operators to alert them to anything they need to be aware of and also they can also link in with the town centre officers and PCSOs so if patrols are nearby, they can attend and offer assistance.
‘There is already a good network of shops in the town centre so the seafront concessions can receive their support as well as from the Beach Patrol officers employed by Thanet District Council.’
Dedicated to keeping people safe
Sergeant Paul Robson Thanet Community Safety Unit said: ‘Our officers and PCSOs are dedicated to keeping our beaches and coastline safe across the district and will often work with partner agencies to look at ways to do that.
‘Lorissa’s determination to promote a safe summer in one of the busiest areas of Thanet has led to greater working between business, police and CCTV operators and it can only be beneficial for anyone who comes for a day out at the beach.’