A police team working in Maidstone to address the concerns of residents and businesses has been targeting those intent on anti-social behaviour and disorder.
Having identified the main issues that have an impact on the quality of life within the community, PCSOs from Kent Police’s Problem Solving Task Force have been patrolling at key times of the day.
Over the last two months, working with local officers they have strictly enforced the conditions of the Public Space Protection Order covering the town centre. Those found drinking alcohol in parks and open spaces have had beer and spirits confiscated and anybody seeking to beg in public areas has received advice before being been moved on.
Contact has been made with licensed premises to seek the assistance of managers and staff, to ensure alcohol consumed at or taken from their premises does not instigate wider disorder in the town centre.
Three young people who have been identified as being responsible for persistent nuisance behaviour have received Community Protection Warnings. These prevent them entering specified parts of the town and require them to leave the area when required by a person of authority.
Any others already subject to these formal warnings, have been checked when in the town centre to ensure they are complying with the conditions that restrict their ability to commit crime or behave disorderly.
The team has continued to complete knife sweeps to reduce the potential for violent crime and have been pleased to note that no further bladed weapons have been located in public areas.
Detective Inspector Sarah Allen said: ‘We have spent the last eight weeks tackling the issues that matter most to residents having sought the opinion of all those who form part of this community.
‘We identified there was considerable concern about anti-social behaviour in the town’s parks, particularly during the evenings, and the team, assisted by staff from Maidstone Borough Council’s Community Protection Team, have been very visible in these areas.
‘Where young people have been found suffering from the effects of alcohol, they have been taken home to their parents and visited on a subsequent day for a discussion about their behaviour. Any particularly vulnerable people have been introduced to support services where substance abuse has been a factor.
‘The team continues to receive positive comments from residents, businesses and visitors to Maidstone and I would encourage anybody who wishes to raise an issue but has not yet spoken to us, to approach any of the PCSOs when they are patrolling the town centre.’