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Street marshals return to Sittingbourne and Sheerness for Easter school holidays

Street marshals will be back in action over the Easter holidays as a crackdown on anti-social behaviour and violence continues.

Uniformed marshals will be patrolling Sheerness and Sittingbourne town centres for the third consecutive school break.

Street marshalls Kieran and Tyler outside The Forum Shopping Centre in Sittingbourne High Street
Street marshalls Kieran and Tyler outside The Forum Shopping Centre in Sittingbourne High Street

The initiative began in December and took place again in the February half-term.

It is part of Swale council’s £900,000 Safer Streets campaign, funded by the government.

It aims to tackle antisocial behaviour and reduce violence against women and girls.

The funding is also going towards additional CCTV cameras, improved lighting, youth club funding, free bystander training and trimming down overgrown trees.

The marshals are equipped with body cameras and have radios connected through Swale Link to the council’s CCTV centre, and work closely with the police.

Sheerness High Street
Sheerness High Street

One of the Sheerness marshals, Tyler, said that he is bringing his experience from working in clubs to the role.

“I've dealt with assaults against women, people spiking women’s drinks,” he added, “so I've got the experience I need from that, and I can bring it to the marshalling.

“But it is just something that needs stamping out really and hopefully us being there, and people knowing what we are and what we do will help women and children think that we’re a safety net.

“They can come to us and talk to us, if they can't phone the police or don't see a police officer, they can come to us, and we can deal with it.”

Meanwhile, Kieran, one of the marshals for Sittingbourne, believes they are having a positive impact in the high streets.

Sittingbourne High Street. Picture: Google Maps
Sittingbourne High Street. Picture: Google Maps

He said: “When you see elderly people or people who don't like going out when they actually see you, you can see the look in their face that they want you to be there that they feel safe, and that they're glad someone's there.”

Richard Palmer, chairman of the community committee, said: “Our safer streets project is working to tackle the higher levels of anti-social behaviour and violence against women and girls in Sittingbourne and Sheerness town centres.

“This is now the third time we are deploying these marshals in the two high streets, and it is great to see the impact they are having.

“These marshals are helping people feel safer, especially walking home after work, and supporting the police to prevent the kind of behaviour our project is aiming to stop.”

Elliott Jayes, vice chairman of the community committee, said: “This uniformed presence during school holidays is a great way to not only deter antisocial behaviour but also help the towns feel safer both during busier times and in the afternoon.

Cllr Elliott Jayes, vice chair of the community committee
Cllr Elliott Jayes, vice chair of the community committee

“It is important to emphasise the role the police and the control room have in making this element of the project such a success.

“Having the linked communication enables the marshals to tackle issues in the area while being confident they will receive the support they need when they need it.”

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