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Safety unit puts anti-social crime at top of hit list

Priorities to keep communities safe this year include tackling anti-social behaviour, violent crimes, substance abuse and road safety –- including driving lessons for 15-year-olds.

The Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Partnership has revealed its plan for 2014/15 in a bid to cut down on the issues it has identified in most need of action.

As a result of developments including Paramount park and the Ebbsfleet Garden City, road safety has been added to the plan.

Police are cracking down on crime. Picture: Thinkstock
Police are cracking down on crime. Picture: Thinkstock

The Community Safety units are based in the Civic Centres in each borough and are staffed by both Kent Police and council officers.

Each day they share crime reports logged over the past 24 hours and members of the Community Safety Unit (CSU) are tasked with responding to issues that have arisen.

The CSU says it wants to tackle the number of drink drivers on the road alongside nuisance vehicles and people dropping their children off at school times.

It also wants to work with planning departments to ensure new roads are as safe as possible and support a pre-driver training course for 15 to 17-year-olds.

The CSU says it wants to cut down on the number of deliberate fires being started alongside cutting down on criminal damage such as graffiti.

It aims to tackle the problem by utilising powers including ASBOs and deploying mobile CCTV units.

It also wants to engage with youngsters through sport to cut down their involvement with antisocial behaviour.

Violent crime is also on the list alongside domestic abuse.

Approximately 30% of all violent crime recorded in Gravesham and Dartford is domestic abuse, affecting hundreds of victims, their children and families each year.

The CSU says it will be focusing on repeat incidents of domestic abuse and raise awareness of the services that are available to victims.

On substance abuse, the CSU said: “Substance misuse is inextricably tied up with crime and anti-social behaviour.

“There are well established links between alcohol misuse and violent crime and between drug dependency and acquisitive property crime.”

Stealing equates to between a 20 and 25% of all recorded crimes in Gravesham and Dartford. Despite some improvements, the CSU says it has to remain a priority.

Increases in theft and burglary have been experienced and there is a continuing demand for scrap metal.

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