I was delighted to have been re-elected to serve the public of Kent in May for a further term. My team and I have been working with Kent Police to deliver the objectives that I set out to make our county a safer place. Below is a summary of some of the things that have been achieved since May:
- Violence against women and girls inquiry: A system-wide review of violence against women and girls has been launched, working in partnership with the criminal justice system and others to understand its causes and see what we can do further on prevention, engagement and rehabilitation, which improving the victim’s journey.
- Rural awareness month: In conjunction with a number of organisations, we ran a campaign of engagements and awareness throughout July to highlight the challenges that rural communities face and bring them closer together to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour.
- Critical support and male rape funds: My team and I were successful in securing funding from these two pots via the Ministry of Justice to help victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.
- Schools Officers: The first dedicated Schools Officers are being appointed and starting to take up post. There will be over twenty in this first year, rising to over seventy when the roll out is complete.
- Safer streets in Ramsgate and Canterbury: My team and I have secured funding from the Home Office to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour hotspots in Ramsgate and Canterbury. This will include community engagement as well as tangible improvements to local safety.
- Police mini cadets: Kent Police completed the training of the first cohort of mini cadets in Dartford. The 8-11 year olds learn about policing and safety, as well as other skills such as CPR. The programme is rolling out county-wide.
- Nightingale Court in Maidstone: I worked with HMCTS and lobbied Ministers in support of a new Nightingale Court, which is now open Maidstone. This important project is helping keep the number of cases in our Crown Courts at a stable level, but work goes on through the Criminal Justice Board I chair to try and get the backlog down.
- Dog theft campaign: I funded an awareness campaign by Crimestoppers on the ongoing issues of dog theft and what people can do to prevent it and report concerns
- Domestic abuse perpetrator scheme: My team and I will be working with Interventions Alliance to run a programme aimed at addressing the behaviour of domestic abuse and stalking perpetrators. With funding from the Home Office and my budget. It will run for an initial twelve months.
- Police Uplift programme: The Force continues to deliver on recruitment. With 3911 in Kent Police at the end of March 2021 (an increase of 729 on May 2016), numbers will reach 4100 by March 2023. I’m pleased to report progress on the diversity of recruits too.
There’s lots more positive news from around Kent Police too. The Rural Team has been bolstered with the support of ten Special Constables. The Volunteer PCSO scheme continues to attract new recruits. The County Line and Gangs Team, and the Chief Constable’s Crime Squad – both set up from council tax receipts – continue their relentless focus on drug dealers, burglars and violent crime. Joint work with local authorities to tackle fly-tipping continues.
It’s hard to believe that it has already been 100 days since my second term started, but I thank you all for your ongoing support.