Message from Kent Police – November 2023

Over the past month we have been meeting with parish and borough councillors across the whole of the Tunbridge Wells district. This is a new initiative to further engage with the councils embedded within their communities, to help raise any concerns to our staff and officers in our Community Safety Unit.

One particular concern we are seeing raised, is a perceived lack of reporting to Kent Police regarding incidents happening in some of these areas. We have used these meetings to highlight the importance of reporting all incidents to the police, no matter how big or small and our officers pride themselves on gathering information which can really help build a picture of an issue or ongoing complaint.

There is also sometimes a perception from these meetings that ‘nothing will be done’, and I want to offer assurances that this is most certainly not the case. For example, over the past year, there has been an increased focus on tackling anti-social behaviour in and around Tunbridge Wells, which has included enhanced patrols aimed at deterring and reducing offences and which include shop thefts, assaults, and criminal damage.

Our enforcement action has seen charge rates rise for several offences linked to anti-social behaviour. Between October 2022 and September 2023, there were 49 charges made for criminal damage, compared to 27 in the previous corresponding period – a rise of more than 80 per cent. Charges relating to offences involving the use of violence have also increased, to 230 from 204; whilst at the same time, the number of reported incidents involving the use of violence in the borough has fallen.

It is important to again highlight that information we receive regarding incidents within our communities, is often crucial to resolving residents’ concerns, deterring and solving crime, and improving people’s lives. Your support or information can help provide the missing puzzle piece which helps your local officers solve a crime.