Businesses, security teams and police officers who go that extra mile to keep Maidstone safe were praised at a special awards evening.
MaidSafe is a partnership between the town’s retailers, licensees, CCTV operators, the police and the Town Centre Management, which is designed to keep the town as safe as possible.
The organisation presented six awards at the ceremony at the Wonderland nightclub in Barker Road, last Thursday and awards were presented by the Town Centre Manager, Bill Moss; by the manager of The Mall, Paul Alcock; by Cllr John Wilson and by Chief Insp Simon Wilson and Chief Superintendent Steve Corbishley from Kent Police.
Rob Garner receives the award for outstanding actions from Chief Supt Corbishley
Glenn Jones from Boots security won the Individual Award. Mr Jones has been in the role for a year and was instrumental in identifying two prolific offenders in his store who had stolen £15,000 worth of designer glasses across the south east. They were recently sent to prison for a total of 21 months.
The Outstanding Actions Award went to Rob Garner from the Urban Blue Bus and Special Constable Kevin Buck.
Mr Garner has given up the equivalent of 46 working weeks of his own time over the last five years to manage the bus in Maidstone. He’s the first on shift and the last to leave and provides a key role in supporting the police and local licensees and those visiting Maidstone.
Special Constable Buck volunteered with Kent Police for more than 20 years. He works a 10-hour foot patrol shift with the town team every Saturday night and has made many arrests over the years.
The Team Award went to The Mall Chequers security team. From assisting police officers, to helping with routine cuts and bruises to saving the life of a choking victim, the team is always on hand.
The Best Night Time Economy team went to the Urban Blue Bus. This team have provided more than 4,000 hours of voluntary cover, dealt with 630 incidents and prevented the need for an ambulance to be called on 430 occasions.
The Timpson Outstanding Service Award went to PCSOs Caroline Honeysett and Neil Lettington. The officers are a constant presence in the town. Officer Honeysett almost missed the event because she recognised and detained a wanted suspect as she made her way in.
The Linda Gillette Award went to PC Ash Bates. This award was named after the popular town centre officer PC Linda Gillette, who died in 2011 after a long battle with cancer. PC Bates has worked on the town centre neighbourhood team for three years and is considered a key member of the team.
Chief Superintendent Steve Corbishley said: “This is my third time working in Maidstone throughout the course of my career and I have to say that Maidstone does partnership like no one else.
“Everyone plays an absolutely crucial role, from CCTV operators, to security guards, to retailers.
“It was a great honour to present these awards and I look forward to hearing about more excellent work at next year’s awards.’
Bill Moss said: “The annual Maidsafe awards once again highlighted the outstanding work that goes into making Maidstone such a safe and secure town during both daytime and throughout the night. We are extremely proud of our town centre security staff and these awards recognise those people who have gone the extra mile, and are a tangible way of saying “thank you” to them.”