Many people in Headcorn are concerned about crime and anti-social behaviour.
I visited the village with Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Scott, last week to hear these concerns first hand and discuss what more the police can do to help.
We had a meeting in the village hall with County, Borough and local Parish Councillors, along with officers from Kent Police. We also had a walk about in the village to meet residents and businesses.
As a result of the meeting, the police have committed to stepping up policing in the village so residents should start seeing a more visible police presence.
I know more police on the streets is not the only solution, but extra officers should make people feel safer and more secure on our streets, as well as having a real impact on reducing crime.
One of the problems is that crime is under-reported in the village. I know a big reason why people don’t come forward is fear of repercussions. But the message from the police is clear – crime needs to be reported.
If you don’t want to contact the police directly, you can report crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111. You can also download the Country Eye app on your phone, which is useful for reporting crimes like fly-tipping, graffiti, and reporting suspicious vehicles.
What you’ve seen could be the missing piece of the jigsaw in an on-going case and help secure a prosecution. Reporting crime also builds up a picture of trouble spots, which helps to determine the allocation of police time and resources. So, every report is useful.
With more police in Kent – including a dedicated team in Maidstone – there should be extra capacity for supporting villages and rural areas. The police have assured me there are no ‘no-go areas’ for their officers. Kent now has a Gypsy Liaison Team and are using more plain clothes officers to investigate crime.
I hope to convene another meeting in Headcorn in the New Year to review progress.