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Gunpowder seized near Deal in county-wide Kent Police crackdown on knives and other weapons

By Sam Lennon

A total 39 firearms and 10kg of gunpowder were found during a police purge on weapons.

They were found at an address in Salisbury Road, Walmer, on March 22.

Although there was a licence for the firearms this was revoked due to licensing conditions not being met.

Gunpowder was also found in the weapons purge. Library picture
Gunpowder was also found in the weapons purge. Library picture

These were among 300 weapons that have been seized by police cracking down on knife crime and associated offences.

The seizures have been made by proactive patrols across the county since March 11.

In addition more than £100,000 of suspected criminal money and more than 500 wraps of suspected class A drugs have been seized.

More than 150 arrests have been made over the same period.

Kent Police’s assistant chief constable Rob Fordham said: ‘This continued period of enforcement activity sends out a very clear message that we have zero tolerance for people who choose to carry a knife in our county.

‘Those who do choose to carry a weapon are endangering themselves and innocent members of the public. We will use every power available to us to remove these items from the street."

More than 200 knives were also handed in to Kent Police by a second hand shop in Maidstone.

Assistant Chief Constable Rob Fordham
Assistant Chief Constable Rob Fordham

Their surrender means the items can be safely destroyed and prevents them getting into criminal hands.

Investigating officers have already charged numerous people with knife crime related offences.

Among them are Ricky Sims, 24, of Ames Road in Swanscombe, who has been charged with robbery and possessing a bladed article.

This follows a reported robbery at a store in Henderson Drive, Dartford, on March 30.

He has been remanded in custody and was due to appear at Medway Magistrates Court yesterday.

James Harris, 25, of Olive Road in Dartford, has been charged with robbery and possessing an offensive weapon in a public place following a robbery in the town's Princes Road on March30.

He was remanded in custody at Medway Magistrates' Court. He will next appear at Woolwich Crown Court on April 29.

A police raid was carried out as part of the operation

Lewis Shaw, 27, of Essella Road in Ashford, has been charged with attempted murder, two counts of possessing an offensive weapon in a public place, possessing a bladed article, criminal damage and a public order offence following an assault in Faversham on March 16.

He was arrested on March 23 and was remanded in custody to appear at Maidstone Crown Court on 23 April.

A 16-year-old boy from Rochester has been charged with robbery, possessing a bladed article, acquiring criminal property and possessing cannabis following a reported robbery at a newsagent in Darnley Road, Strood, on March 27.

He was remanded in custody by Medway magistrates to appear at Medway Youth Court yesterday.

John Saunders, 29, of Tennyson Avenue in Canterbury, has been charged with robbery, threatening a person with a bladed article, false imprisonment and burglary following a reported robbery at a betting shop in King Street, Gravesend, on March 11.

He was remanded in custody by Medway magistates to appear at Maidstone Crown Court on April 14.

Mr Fordham added: "People in Kent can feel assured that the county remains a safe place and we are taking robust and proactive action to ensure this remains the case.

"Numerous investigations are currently underway following our arrests and it is pleasing to see the success we have had so far."

Councillors are meeting today to discuss whether to set up a committee to tackle the rise in knife crime.

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