Neighbourhood Policing Week: Police Now in Kent
Monday 23 January 2023
This week is Neighbourhood Policing Week of Action, which celebrates community policing and the achievements of neighbourhood officers across the UK.
Police Constable Georgia Marshall, who joined Kent Police via Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme in 2021, has significantly reduced anti-social behaviour (ASB) in Snodland, Kent and protected vulnerable members of the community.
Thanks to Georgia and her colleagues on the Tonbridge and Malling Neighbourhood Policing Team, Snodland town saw a reduction of over 90% in nuisance youths reports between 1st August and 30th October. Overall, the calls relating to ASB reduced from a peak of 68 in August to just 6 in October after police intervention. One victim, who previously called police 36 times in September, made just 3 calls in November. Since November, reports of ASB have remained low.
The reports previously included shouting and swearing in the streets, vandalising property, and criminal behaviour such as shoplifting. One vulnerable member of the community was often targeted, with stones frequently pelted at their windows.
Georgia and her team identified those involved and worked hard to ensure Acceptable Behaviour Agreements and Community Protection Warnings were issued to repeat offenders, which prevent them from entering certain premises and can lead to a custodial sentence if breached. Georgia interviewed a number of youths regarding the criminal offences, with court dates pending. The team conducted home visits to issue warnings and learn more about suspects’ personal situations, using early intervention tactics to divert them away from criminal activity. Members of the Community Safety Unit visited schools to engage with students in the area and deliver talks on the consequences of ASB and have been instrumental in securing extra CCTV cameras for the area.
PC Georgia Marshall, who studied Geography at the University of East Anglia before joining Police Now’s programme, said: “Victims of crime deserve to receive the best support possible and that’s what I always aim to do as a Police Now officer. I want residents to be able to feel safe in their own neighbourhood and to never live in fear of being harassed on the street or having their home vandalised. One member of the community, who was often targeted with stones thrown at her windows, now receives regular visits from the whole team and knows us all by name. Seeing her sense of wellbeing and security increase and her confidence in her local policing team improve has been great. It’s so rewarding to be able to see the difference we’ve been able to make in the community and the lives of residents, particularly those who were frequent victims of ASB.
“Joining the National Graduate Leadership Programme was a fantastic decision for me. I’m looking forward to seeing what my career in policing holds and am confident that we can effectively support the community through whatever challenges we face.”
Police Sergeant Jon Turtle said: “Tonbridge and Malling Community Safety Unit has been working extensively with partnership agencies from July to November, regarding a significant increase in anti-social behaviour from young people. Police Now student Georgia Marshall has worked tirelessly to secure charges and court appearances for some of the perpetrators and is seeking a Community Behaviour Order to secure further restrictions on their behaviours.”
Applications for Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme are currently open for talented graduates who want to positively transform communities and become leaders in policing and in society.
For more information on the stats referenced above, please see Police Now’s latest Impact Report here.