Kent Police bolster patrols and say any gatherings found to be illegal will be dealt with robustly

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Increased police patrols will be taking place in public spaces and on beaches over the coming days to help remind people about social distancing advice, deter illegal mass gatherings and deal with any associated crime and disorder.

Forecasts for the weekend predict some wet weather for the county but Kent Police will be having an increased presence to make sure those who do venture out do so responsibly.

Officers continue to carry out enquiries into a disturbance in Greatstone following a large gathering on the beach on Sunday 9 August 2020, following which four officers sustained minor injuries. As a result, a 29-year-old man from Stockwell was charged with dangerous driving and actual bodily harm. Enquiries continue to identify those responsible for throwing bottles which hit attending officers.

In addition, Kent Police also became aware of a seafront event which was rumoured to be organised for Leysdown on 12 August 2020. Officers contacted the organiser and travelled to Stratford, London to engage with those planning to attend the event to remind them of the latest health advice. The group eventually travelled to Essex where two men were arrested for conspiracy to commit a public nuisance.

Assistant Chief Constable of Kent Police, Nikki Faulconbridge said: ‘As we continue to investigate a disturbance in Greatstone, those planning mass gatherings are warned to think again and seriously consider the detrimental impact these can have on the communities they are held in as well as the health risks in the current Covid-19 context.

‘I also want the people of Kent to be assured that Kent Police will do everything it can by working with partner agencies such as local councils and other police forces to minimise the impact large gatherings can have on our communities.

‘Any gatherings found to be illegal will be dealt with robustly and officers continue to monitor the situation across the county.

‘The majority of people are following the Government advice but we will engage with those fail to do so, explain the guidelines and encourage them to adhere to them.’

Covid-19 remains a serious worldwide health risk and it is important that everyone visiting Kent’s beaches, parks and outdoor spaces continue to keep a safe distance from one other.

Witnesses to the Greatstone altercation who are yet to speak to Kent Police are asked to call the force on 01843 222289 quoting reference 09-0593.