Roberts, Community Partnerships & Resilience Manager, addressed
the Committee. Mr Roberts explained
·Data regarding specific crimes had demonstrated
notable rises. Sexual Offences (All)
had increased by the highest percentage (48.2%), followed by
Violence Against the Person (40.9%), Most Serious Violence (38%)
and Violence Without Injury (37.9%). On
the other hand, Theft from the Person (20.5%) and Drugs
(Possession) (19.3%) had decreased.
·15% of all crime was related to Domestic
Abuse. Domestic Abuse was therefore a
focus of the Safer Maidstone Partnership for the year
·0.4% of the youth population in Maidstone had
received a sentence relating to crime, demonstrating the positive
impact of work undertaken to tackle issues with gangs.
·Although work regarding gangs and County Lines was
ongoing, the focus had shifted towards minimising Anti-Social
·The data regarding needle finds suggested that Lower
Boxley Road was a hotspot, and that there was potential to link
this to a needle collection scheme.
·Data from CGL - West Kent Recovery Service
Maidstone, regarding the exchange of needles, was to be
incorporated in the Strategic Assssment at a later
·Substance Misuse was to be embedded as an
overarching priority for the Safer Maidstone Partnership, rather
than being addressed through a specific sub-group.
·The service provided for victims of Domestic Abuse
was good, however, it could take a significant amount of time for
victims to be identified. Consequently,
early interventions, such as promoting responsible relationships
for teenagers, were to be undertaken.
response to questions from the Committee, Inspector Mark Hedges
(Kent Police) stated that:
·200 additional full-time Police Officers and Staff
were recruited in 2017/18, with a further 180 recruited in
2018/19. As it took two years to
complete training and probationary periods, it was expected that an
increased Police Officer presence was to be noticeable
shortly. The recruitment also meant
that there was the potential to establish dedicated teams in
·Kent Police had been rated as
“Outstanding” by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of
Constabulary (HMIC). This meant that
victims of crime in Kent were more likely to have the crime
recorded than elsewhere nationally.
·The approach to data recording had recently
changed. Multiple crimes that took
place during one incident were now recorded separately. Although the figures subsequently demonstrated an
increase in crime as a result of the change in data recording,
crime in Maidstone had remained static when compared to the rest of
·A problem solving approach, comprising of scanning,
analysis, response, and assessment (SARA) was being used to
disperse groups such as the Shepway Boys.
·Core individuals of groups such as the Shepway Boys
were being targeted. Community
Protection Warnings (CPWs) had proven effective in dealing with
gang related issues, with approximately 2% of individuals issued
with a CPW then receiving a Community Protection Notice
·Groups were known to congregate near free Wi-Fi
spots, which could be intimidating for other members of the
public. This had been tackled by
disabling Wi-Fi at specific times.