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Maidstone Task Force seizes 50 vehicles and £56,000 during year of crime crackdown in Shepway


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More than 50 vehicles and £56,000 has been seized from Shepway in just 12 months as authorities crackdown on crime.

Launched in October last year, Maidstone Task Force has seen Kent Police team up with councils, probation services and the housing association to rid the estate of offending.

Kent Police officers at the launch of the new Maidstone task force (53219555)
Kent Police officers at the launch of the new Maidstone task force (53219555)

In the last year the team has made more than 175 arrests, carried out 350 stop searches and received more than 650 intelligence reports and 65 traffic offence reports.

It has also seized around £56,800 since last year during warrants which saw a number of high value items, including designer clothing, watches and jewellery recovered.

The team has also retrieved more than 50 vehicles and Class A and B drugs to the value of £15,000.

Deputy leader of Maidstone Borough Council Jonathan Purle said: “The task force has made solid progress in Shepway, and the numbers of stop searches, seizures and arrests are very reassuring, as is the work being done to get to grips with domestic violence and substance abuse.

Inspector Steve Kent, of the Maidstone Community Safety Unit, added: “I believe the task force has made a real difference to the Shepway community over the last year.

A section of the shops on Northumberland Road as it stands now. Picture: Google Street View (52945189)
A section of the shops on Northumberland Road as it stands now. Picture: Google Street View (52945189)

“While officers have made arrests and reported people for offences where necessary, they have also encouraged those on the fringes of criminality to make different life choices and seek support from the various services to which partners can signpost them.”

Ray Hunt, 70, of Oxford Road, Maidstone, said: “I’m quite shocked to hear about those figures. Shepway has always had a bad reputation and probably will but it’s quite sobering to hear how much crime is actually going on.

“Fair play to the team for cracking down on crime, something needed to be done not just here but in Maidstone it’s gone downhill in the past few years.”

While Pauline-Marie Bushell, of Suffolk Road, added: “It’s had an amazing effect, I think. You’ll always have people causing problems who will cause trouble, but when you know there’s something like the task force out and about doing stuff it’s going to stop it happening.”

Martyn Jeynes, of Maidstone council task force said the team may move to another area soon after its work in Shepway.

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