More than 100 charges have been issued by a single Kent Police unit dedicated at tackling dangerous and repeat offenders in one month.
The charges were mostly authorised against burglary, robbery and serial theft suspects following investigations by the Chief Constable’s Crime Squad during June 2020 and many have been remanded in custody ahead of future court dates.
Investigations carried out by the same team secured a total of 107 charges as well as 48 years and seven months in prison sentences, including 15 years for a burglar who stamped on a victim’s head after he was interrupted mid-offence. Thirty-nine arrests were also made over the same time period.
Detective Chief Inspector Lopa McDermott, who leads the team, said: ‘High quality investigations carried out by my officers are continuing to achieve fantastic results for victims of crime.
‘People targeted by burglars, or robbers, are often picked at random and it is not unusual for them to feel vulnerable and uneasy long after an offence has taken place. We do not underestimate the emotional toll this can have and we are doing everything in our power to bring offenders to justice.
‘Our efforts to protect the public are best demonstrated by the fact we have been able to remand numerous people accused of serious offences in custody ahead of trials or sentencing hearings. This is thanks, in large part, to my officers’ diligent case building which has also secured several significant custodial sentences.’
The Chief Constable’s Crime Squad is a team of detectives and uniformed police officers who are based at police stations across the county and primarily investigate burglaries and robberies.
Among those charged is a Gillingham man accused of stealing from nine parked cars and using stolen bank cards in six fraudulent transactions. Another suspect from Gillingham was charged with three burglaries and the theft of four cars.
Elsewhere in the county, an Ashford man was charged with six offences following a report a man had been robbed of a bicycle after being threatened with a knife.
All have been remanded in custody ahead of future court dates.
Noteworthy results from court include a 15-year prison sentence for a burglar who stamped on a man’s head after he was found inside an Ashford home. A co-offender was also jailed for over two and a half years.
An armed burglar was also jailed for seven years after he threatened a man he knew with a knife inside a Tonbridge property. Despite concealing his face, the victim was able to identify him through his voice and CCTV subsequently confirmed he was the offender.
A Maidstone burglar who rammed a police car while attempting to evade capture was additionally jailed for four years and a serial thief who stole from residences across Hawkhurst, Lamberhurst, Tenterden and East Malling was jailed for three years.
DCI McDermott added: ‘It is incredibly rare to become the victim of a burglary or robbery, but those who have the misfortune of being targeted can be assured that my team will always follow every reasonable line of enquiry to pursue justice.’