A dedicated team of police officers targeting burglars, robbers and repeat offenders have reached a landmark 1,000th charge just over a year after launching.
The Chief Constable’s Crime Squad, which launched in February 2019, made more than 300 arrests in its first year of operation, leading to 1,050 charges being authorised.
In total, the dedicated team of detectives and uniformed officers has secured 377 years in prison sentences.
Eighty-seven warrants were also carried out by the unit, which proactively pursues offenders who often target victims at random.
Chief Constable of Kent Police, Alan Pughsley, said: ‘When my Crime Squad was created, its remit was clear – go after the offenders who think nothing of causing significant harm and distress to our communities – and that is exactly what this team has done.
‘It is not lost on Kent Police the lasting impact crime can have on victims which is why this team is focused on catching opportunistic criminals and repeat offenders and putting them before the courts.
‘To achieve more than 1,000 charges and over 370 years’ worth of prison sentencings in a year is an achievement that should be recognised and makes me exceptionally proud that the team works under my name.’
The Crime Squad, which is funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner’s council tax precept, has officers based across the county and they work closely with local policing teams, serious crime detectives and tactical units.
In addition to investigating burglaries and robberies, officers in the unit target repeat offenders and increases in certain crime types such as catalytic converter thefts.
Successful cases in the last 12 months include gathering so much evidence against four shop robbers in Dartford they had no choice but to plead guilty and were sentenced to a total of 34 years in prison, the conviction of a Medway man for carrying out five sexual offences against women in the local area, and a group of serial burglars who stole charity collection boxes from business in Canterbury and Thanet.
Detective Chief Inspector Lopa McDermott, who leads the Chief Constable’s Crime Squad, said: ‘Our caseload is varied but behind each offence is a victim and we are committed to supporting them, pursuing justice and preventing further offences taking place.
‘Anyone with intentions of committing an offence in Kent should know that we have the resources and expertise to identify them and bring them before the courts.
‘But despite an excellent first year, we will not rest on our laurels and will look to build on the good results from the last 12 months by protecting our communities, putting victims first and ensuring offenders face justice before the courts.