A wealth of crime prevention devices have been handed out, a new Neighbourhood Watch group formed and more than 50 bikes security marked as part of a week of activity by police in Ashford.

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Kent Police and partner agencies outside County Square shopping centre in Ashford.

The town’s Community Safety Unit hosted a range of events after taking over the Community Pop-Up Shop in the County Square shopping centre from Monday 25 to Friday 29 October 2021.

Representatives of Neighbourhood Watch, the Ashford Partnership Against Crime, Ashford Borough Council and Kent Police’s volunteer cadet force were among those present at the shop on different days of the week.

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Police cadets help security mark bikes.

Crime prevention

PC Danielle Butcher, who organised the hub, said: ‘Officers estimate that they chatted to more than 250 local residents over the course of the week, providing crime prevention advice and hearing any concerns.’

Around 50 shed alarms and 60 timer plugs were handed out to deter burglars, as well as 35 handbag protection hangers and more than 30 purse bells to stop pickpockets.

More than 50 bikes were also security marked at the town centre event and a similar event in Willesborough the previous weekend.

A new Neighbourhood Watch scheme was also set up following advice from those attending the event, and other local residents joined existing groups.

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Cadets carried out knife sweeps as part of the week’s many activities.

Community spirit

Ashford District Commander Chief Inspector Nick Sparkes said: ‘I would like to thank everyone who came along to the events at the pop-up shop, from partner organisations and the many members of the public who stopped in for a chat.

‘Events like this help us build the invaluable relationship we have with the communities we serve. I hope the crime protection devices we have distributed, and the advice my officers gave, prevent people becoming victims of crime.

‘We are always very keen to engage with the public whenever possible and we will be looking to hold more events like this as soon as we can.’

By Ed

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