Vulnerable people have been safeguarded, and neighbourhood pride bolstered, thanks to work carried out by the Medway Task Force – a team which brings together Kent Police, Medway Council, and other key partners, including Kent Fire and Rescue Service.
Superintendent Rob Marsh, Kent Police’s Deputy Divisional Commander for North Kent, said: ‘The Medway Task Force launched in February 2020 with the overarching aim of preventing crime and protecting the most vulnerable people in our area.
‘Grassroots community engagement has always been the foundation of what we do and it is something we take exceptional pride in. It is about more than just targeting criminals and locking them up – preventing crime and empowering residents is also vitally important.
‘It is therefore really pleasing to hear of the excellent contributions our officers have made, and it is clear to see that our multi agency partnership approach is achieving meaningful results that I am sure will be long lasting.
Since then, Kent Police officers have visited over 1,300 homes to offer crime prevention advice, with more than 1,000 security products handed out to residents. These products have included property marking kits, door chains and shed alarms.
A CCTV camera has also been placed in James Street, in addition to around 20 property marking signs which have been attached to lampposts. These are similar to Neighbourhood Watch signs and warn would-be thieves that they are entering an area with heightened crime prevention measures.
Increased community pride
A council team also regularly patrol the area to remove litter and provide advice on how to dispose of waste. Where necessary, enforcement action has also been taken. These interventions have led to a 66% increase in recycling.
Around 1,300 school children in year six also participated in a series of virtual sessions as part of the Safety in Action initiative. These focused on internet, fire, water and road safety and, in addition to the agencies already mentioned, was supported by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Her Majesty’s Coastguard and Crimestoppers.
‘It’s been a partnership programme and I want to thank everyone who has worked on it and made such a difference. We have two further similar schemes planned for parts of Ramsgate and Canterbury and I’m hopeful they will see similar benefits.’
Cllr Howard Doe, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: ‘We want all residents across Medway to love the area they live in and to help keep their homes and communities feel safe.
‘I am pleased with the work we have been doing in partnership with the Medway Task Force since last October, it’s been a very successful project and it has been pleasing to see such positive changes in a short amount of time.