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Sheppey councillor Mick Constable has raised concerns about changes to Island policing announced at Queenborough Town Council

By Andy Gray

Police have been moved to quash rumours officers will be taken off the beat in Sheppey.

It follows a meeting at Queenborough Town Council during which it was reportedly announced Island patrols would cease from June.

In response to the claims, a police spokesman said it was making plans to the way “neighbourhood policing is working across the force as a whole”.

“We hope to be in a position in the next month to announce what these are,” she said.

The spokesman added: “Officers will continue to patrol Sheppey on a 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week basis.“

Rumours of patrols being stopped sprung from a police source at last week’s full council meeting.

According to a local PCSO, the Island’s crime force was to be relocated to Sittingbourne, leaving Sheppey with a reactive, rather than proactive service.

Since November, a “Swale hub” has been in operation at the station in Central Avenue, Sittingbourne.

It means neighbourhood officers must “report” there before being sent to areas of the borough to deal with crimes where required.

A police spokesman said the force will retain a permanent Island presence.

She said: “Community policing is at the heart of Kent Police’s work and officers carry out patrols on foot, bikes and in cars on a daily basis to engage with the community and ensure Sheppey remains a safe place to live, work and visit.”

Cllr Mick Constable is concerned about possible changes to policing on Sheppey

Cllr Mick Constable, Labour member for Queenborough and Halfway ward, said it would be an “absolute disaster” if patrols ceased on Sheppey.

He said: “We need police officers on the beat, even if it’s just PCSOs.

“Antisocial behaviour in Queenborough and Halfway five years ago was terrible, but it’s gradually stopping.

“If we lose our police presence, I fear it could rise again.”

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