Published: 17:47, 26 July 2021
| Updated: 18:26, 26 July 2021
More police patrols will be deployed in Cranbrook in a bid to drive down anti-social behaviour which politicians say has been on the rise since lockdown.
The extra resources come after town representatives met to address the issue before the area becomes a “wild west haven for thugs and bandits”.
Teenagers have been seen smashing windows, streetlights, bus shelters and electrical boxes with catapults and steel ball bearings.
A car left in the Cranbrook Co-op car park overnight was even tipped onto its side by vandals last month.
Residents are reportedly living in fear, too worried about reprisals to report the crimes.
As part of its action plan, Kent Police say the extra patrols will include officers, police community support officers and youth engagement officers on foot at key times of the day.
Those committing rural crimes at night will also be targeted.
District Commander, Chief Insp Dave Higham, said: "We have listened to concerns raised by local residents and business owners and are actively working to identify those responsible for any crime and disorder in the area.
"Our patrols depend on timely information about incidents, when they are happening, to allow an effective response. I would urge anyone who sees anything suspicious to phone us.
"I would also appeal to anybody with information about those involved in crime to speak to one of our patrols or call Crimestoppers.
"Officers will intervene with anybody committing a nuisance in the town, offering advice and taking any other action that is appropriate. Those seeking to commit crime or disorder can expect a robust response."
The meeting on Friday, July 16, was called by the MP for Maidstone and The Weald, Helen Grant.
She met with the leader of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Tom Dawlings, housing bosses and other councillors, as well as Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott and senior force officials.
Incidents can be reported either through the Kent Police website or by calling 101. Call 999 if a crime is being committed.
You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, or by completing the anonymous online here.