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Ramsgate violence is being tackled, says Kent Police's Chief Inspector for Thanet

A police chief insists action is being taken to stamp out the violence and late-night disorder that has seen a seaside town branded "lawless".

Ramsgate Town Council has called for an urgent meeting between police, MP Craig Mackinlay and Thanet District Council to discuss the 'prevalent' crime in the town.

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Chairman Cllr Steve Albon said residents don't feel safe and that Ramsgate has become the second most dangerous medium-sized town in Kent, according to crime figures.

So far this year, there have been several shocking instances of violent crime - including a stabbing in the high street and a man being attacked by two thugs outside Aldi.

Another nasty attack saw a woman in her 60s "left for dead" in Elizabeth Road, where she was found with head injuries.

The ongoing violence in the town has already sparked a petition by fed-up locals calling for urgent measures to be taken so they can once again walk the streets in the evening without fear.

Among those who will be attending the meeting is Detective Chief Inspector Matthew Smith, District Commander for Thanet at Kent Police.

He says violent crime is a priority for the force and two dedicated town beat officers have been assigned to Ramsgate.

"We understand that reports of some incidents this year may have caused concern in the local community, but it's important to consider that in the majority of cases we have quickly identified suspects and taken positive action, with a number of investigations ongoing," he said.

"Violent crime is a priority for Kent Police and we will continue working with partners to explore all possible ways of ensuring Ramsgate is a safe place to live, work and visit.

"Ramsgate now has two dedicated town beat officers who work alongside our community policing team, as well as officers from our multi-agency task force, who residents will have seen on patrol policing the night-time economy.

"We also have a good working relationship with Thanet District Council, who I know have also been investing in Ramsgate's community safety and reviewing additional CCTV opportunities."

Cllr Steve Albon, chair of Ramsgate Town Council
Cllr Steve Albon, chair of Ramsgate Town Council

The district council says it is aware of the issues regarding the level of crime currently being seen in the town centre and insists that action is being taken.

"We are already working with Kent County Council to instal additional CCTV and street lighting under the Safer Streets funding initiative, as part of the joint approach to address this," a council spokeswoman said.

She added that regular multi-agency meetings are also in place, attended by representatives of the council, KCC, Kent Police and youth providers.

Members of the public, including Ramsgate Town Council, are not admitted to these meetings due to the sensitive nature of the information discussed, but they can attend regular neighbourhood engagement meetings.

"We hold separate meetings with the town council to discuss specific issues when needed, and would anticipate key partners attending," the Thanet council spokeswoman added.

"The council is a key member of the Thanet Community Safety Partnership and we work with a large number of public and private sector partners, as well as voluntary and community groups, to design a community safety plan which sets out themes of the partnership.

"Collectively, we implement and deliver initiatives that will help all areas of Thanet become safe places to live, work and visit."

Cllr George Kup, cabinet member for community safety and youth engagement, says the safety of residents is a primary concern.

Cllr George Kup
Cllr George Kup

"I fully support the work of the Thanet Community Safety Partnership, and our partner agencies, in combatting the levels of crime that we have seen in Ramsgate recently," he said.

"We hold regular meetings with Ramsgate Town Council and are keen to work together to resolve important issues such as this."

Police and crime commissioner Matthew Scott, who has also been invited to the meeting, and Mr Mackinlay were asked for a response.

Thanet-based community organisations interested in discussing how TDC can support community safety projects can contact the community team on community.safety@thanet.gov.uk

For information on the Thanet Community Safety Partnership and details of Neighbourhood Engagement meetings click here.

The violence which has seen town branded 'lawless'

Just last month, on April 30, a man was rushed to hospital in a serious condition after being stabbed in the torso in Ramsgate high street.

A week before, a man was found with serious head injuries in the gardens by Albion Place and in a separate attack, a man was injured by two thugs outside Aldi.

A few days previous to that, a woman in her 60s was found with head injuries in Elizabeth Road in Ramsgate.

And in March, officers launched a manhunt to find the culprit of an attack in King Street in which a man in his 30s was taken to hospital.

In January, seven people were assaulted near Military Road, with three needing hospital treatment.

And back in October, a video showing revellers throwing punches at each other in Harbour Street was filmed by a terrified resident.

A number of assaults have also occurred near the train station in the past two years, with one involving a boy being badly beaten by a gang of youths.

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