Agenda item

Town Centre Policing Update


The CSU Inspector, Kent addressed the Committee and gave a detailed update on the Town Centre Policing.


The team comprised of 3 Constables and 2 PCSO’s. Over the last 3 months 66 arrests had been made, 28 recalls to prison, 43 stop and search completed, 138 intelligence reports that fed back into seven public notices.   A number people locked up had been shoplifters, drug dealers and people exploiting the homelessness.  


The team targeted shops in the Town Centre that had been selling illegal tobacco.  They found 11 shops that sold illegal cigarettes.  There had been a great working partnership with GBC, Trading Standards, Revenue and Customers and the Immigration Service and over 3 days – 50,000 cigarettes, 239 pouches, mobile phones, 2 cars and £1,440 cash had been seized and 11 closure orders issued.  Although a closure order was for a maximum of three months, the team will continue to close these premises if needed.


Night Time Economy – footfall had increased in the Town Centre since restrictions had been lifted but no major incidents had occurred in Gravesend. Safer Streets team increased patrols on foot and continued to be visible.  There had been a number of isolated knife crimes prior to start of the summer holidays.  Increased Section 60 powers have been used which allowed police officers to stop and search.  Patrols will be increased due to Halloween and fireworks coming up.


Arrangements are being made for a seasonal safety shop in December.  The Community Safety Operations Manager to confirm more details when known. The Chair asked Councillors if any were interested in going out with the Police to contact Acting CSU Inspector, James Beautridge.


Following questions and comments from Members, the Acting CSU Inspector, James Beautridgehighlighted the following:


  • How many shops selling illegal cigarettes have been prosecuted? The Acting CSU Inspector, James Beautridge explained that, regarding the 11 shops that had been selling cigarettes that were closed down, they had pursued the best option which had been the closure order.
  • Younger people need to be targeted to make more of an impact on how dangerous these illegal cigarettes are. A Police Officer will shortly be allocated to each secondary school in Kent to educate the children especially in knife crime.  Due to COVID there had been 60 vacancies for this role. Next year, Youth Engagement Officers will work with Primary School children. 
  • A Committee Member asked what the Police had been doing to safeguard women in light of the current news headlines.   A briefing and public engagement document from Kent Police was due out on 8 October.  Actions are being planned to improve lighting, CCTV, safe areas, support from the taxi drivers and more officers out on the street.
  • Out of the 43 stop and searches what was the breakdown in gender and race? The Acting CSU Inspector, James Beautridge explained that he would look at the statistics and report back to the Committee. The statistics are published on the Kent Police Website and reported to the Home Office so they are freely available.


The Chair thanked Junior Dann, Chief Inspector, District Commander Kent Police and James Beautridge, Acting CSU Inspector, Kent Police for their detailed presentation.