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Kent Police to hire 38 new constables to patrol town centres

More officers will be visible in town centres following a recruitment boost from Kent Police.

The force has announced it is hiring 38 new constables to serve more than 20 towns across the county.

Town centres across the county will benefit from increased police presence. Pictured: Folkestone town
Town centres across the county will benefit from increased police presence. Pictured: Folkestone town

They will join the 18 police officers who are already in post, resulting in a 'dedicated' team of 56 to fight crime in urban communities and high streets.

They will focus on anti-social behaviour and theft, crimes which often occur in the evenings.

Towns such as Maidstone, Folkestone, and Chatham where town centre PCs are already in place will receive additional support while areas such as Gillingham, Cliftonville, and Sevenoaks will see the introduction of dedicated officers in the near future.

This boost will see five officers patrolling Maidstone, and four protecting the towns of Tunbridge Wells, Folkestone and Canterbury.

Ramsgate, Margate and Gravesend will each get three officers, while two officers will be allocated to Dartford, Ashford, Dover, Sheerness and Rochester.

KMTV report on council tax rises being used to fund police officers

Herne Bay, Sittingbourne, and Whitstable will all benefit from one officer each.

For full list, see below.

Alan Pughsley, Chief Constable of Kent. Picture: Phil Lee
Alan Pughsley, Chief Constable of Kent. Picture: Phil Lee

The scheme has been funded by an uplift in the council tax precept secured by Matthew Scott, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent.

Chief Constable Alan Pughsley said: "Increases in the police element of council tax and Kent Police’s financial planning over the last few years means we have worked hard to steadily increase officer numbers, protect our 300 PCSOs, and improve the great service we already provide for people in Kent.

"Through analysing crime levels and service demand we've identified where's best to put these officers and we're confident we have identified the areas that will benefit from them the most in terms of keeping people safe, preventing crime, and enforcement action.

"But it should not be forgotten that every town, whether they have a dedicated Town Centre PC or not, will still be served by our Local District Policing Teams, our Community Safety Units, our PCSOs, and our Special Constables who pride themselves in putting victims at the heart of everything they do."

Mr Scott added: "I am delighted that the Chief Constable is deploying these extra officers to communities right across Kent.

Kent's Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott
Kent's Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott

"They have been funded by local residents through my decision to increase the policing part of council tax bills earlier this year.

"It was not an easy decision, but one which is enabling Kent Police to recruit an additional 180 officers to increase visibility and deal with residents’ concerns.

"As a result, 26 towns - from Maidstone to Margate and from Dartford to Deal - now boast their own dedicated Town Centre PCs.

"Precept rises have funded an additional 450 officers since 2016 and we have been able to protect our 300 PCSOs too.

"The Home Secretary has also announced we are receiving Government funding for a further 147 police officers in the first year of the national recruitment campaign to boost numbers further and make us even safer in Kent."

Town Centre PCs will be allocated as follows:

  • Maidstone - 5
  • Gillingham - 4
  • Folkestone - 4
  • Chatham - 4
  • Tunbridge Wells - 4
  • Canterbury - 4
  • Ramsgate - 3
  • Gravesend - 3
  • Margate - 3
  • Dartford - 2
  • Ashford - 2
  • Dover - 2
  • Sheerness - 2
  • Rochester - 2
  • Herne Bay -1
  • Sittingbourne -1
  • Tonbridge -1
  • Deal - 1
  • Whitstable -1
  • Faversham - 1
  • Broadstairs -1
  • Swanley - 1
  • Cliftonville -1
  • Hythe & Dymchurch - 1
  • Sevenoaks - 1
  • Ditton, Aylesford & East Malling - 1
  • Total - 56

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