A multi-agency operation focused on tackling anti-social behaviour and environmental issues took place last Thursday (3 March) in the All Saints area of Chatham.
The operation was led by Kent Police and Medway Council – including Community and Housing Officers - with added support from the UK Border Agency and HM Revenue and Customs.
Results from the day included:
· 16 areas of fly-tipping identified and rubbish removed
· 15 sites cleared by the council’s graffiti team
· 11 untaxed vehicle details passed to DVLA for action
· 8 motorists with valuables on show given crime prevention advice.
· 2 off road bikes seized
· 1 person found in possession of cannabis
The council’s Trading Standards and Environmental Health teams visited the majority of shops and food premises in the area making spot checks and offering advice.
Trading Standards officers seized 131 packs of illegally packaged oral tobacco from a convenience store in Luton. A decision has yet to be taken on future action but, if successfully prosecuted, the owner would be fined up to £5,000 for the offence.
Offenders taking part in Kent Probation’s Community Payback scheme also pitched in erecting fences to block off an alleyway previously used as a dumping ground for rubbish.
Kent Police neighbourhood officers and Medway Council Community Officers held a joint surgery in Stevens Close and visited more than 200 homes to talk with residents about neighbourhood concerns.
Litter, parking matters, housing issues and anti-social behaviour were among the issues recorded on the doorstep. The views given will be used to check progress on existing work in the area and to help set future priorities.
Cllr Mike O’Brien, Medway Council’s portfolio holder for community safety and enforcement, joined the operation going on patrol with the council and police teams.
He said: “Operations like this are key to building trust in what the council, police and other agencies are doing to improve our neighbourhoods.
“It was a great way not only of improving the appearance of the area by clearing unsightly litter and graffiti, but offering reassurance residents that we do listen and will take action on their concerns.
“We also saw some positive results including the seizure of illegal tobacco by Trading Standards team at shop in Luton which is now the subject of further investigation.”
Chief Supt Steve Corbishley, area commander for Kent Police in Medway, added: “The overall aim of this operation was for the police, council and other agencies to take action on those issues identified by the community as needing our attention.
“It is important that the public see what we are doing to keep Medway safe and joint operations like this play a big part in showing the steps we are taking to address their concerns.”