PC Lewis Bennett at the stand in Folkestone with artist Victoria Melody pictured right

Folkestone’s Community Safety Unit has been keeping its relationship with local residents sweet thanks to a glass or two of freshly-made lemonade.

Town Centre PC Lewis Bennett took part in a project which saw him run a lemonade stand in the Old High Street on the afternoon of Sunday 12 September 2021.

The stand, called the ‘LemonAID Response Unit’ by artist Victoria Melody, was presented as part of Creative Folkestone’s Open Quarter 2021.

The project is designed to break down barriers between people by giving them a chance to speak face-to-face and share some refreshment.

PC Bennett was asked a range of questions by passers-by of all ages, as well as hearing their concerns about crime and safety matters in the town, and giving them an insight into the life of a police officer.

PC Bennett said: ‘The stand was busy with people asking questions from start to finish. I served plenty of lemonade and answered lots of questions.

‘Some questions were more light-hearted, such as how many bad guys I have caught, how fast police cars go and my favourite football team.

‘Other questions were more detailed, such as my opinion on policing legislation and how to deal with volatile situations.

‘It was a great way to meet lots of people from the area and brought home to me how important community engagement can be.’

The artist Victoria Melody said: ‘The LemonAID Response Unit is a simple idea with radical intentions to break the cycle of stereotypes and create social capital between the police, young people and the community. I like that it’s really fun yet has the capacity to change how people think.’

By Ed

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