Published 7 October 2020

Adrian Gulvin and_Matthew Scott.jpg

Residents living in an area of Gillingham are set to benefit from funding to tackle crime and run environmental projects.

Medway Council, Kent Police, the Medway Community Safety Partnership and Medway Task Force are working together to support residents living in the town centre area, thanks to £111,005 from the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund obtained by the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner.

Local residents will be sent a leaflet informing them about the initiative and, at a later date, they will have the opportunity to speak to officers in person and receive crime prevention advice. Social distancing guidelines will be followed at all times. Kent Police will also supply security products such as property marking kits, door chains, door viewers and shed security packs, to act as a deterrent from future crime.

Medway Council is targeting its efforts in the area to tackle fly-tipping and graffiti. The agencies will also be working closely with community groups to raise awareness of the importance of recycling, helping to make Gillingham a safer and cleaner place to live. Since 5 September 2020 the council’s Environmental Enforcement and Street Scene Enforcement Officers have removed 6.64 tonnes of waste from around the town centre area.

Green fingered residents will also have the chance of getting involved in a gardening project some of the funding will be used to buy plants and shrubs to plant in planters in the area.

The government project will run until the end of March 2021, and residents will be provided with the tools to keep the positive work and enhancement projects going.

Cllr Adrian Gulvin, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Resources and Chairman of the Medway Community Safety Partnership, said:

'This is a very exciting project which aims to help residents love where they live and also help reduce crime. I am pleased that we will be continuing to work with our colleagues in Kent Police and the Medway Task Force, as well as with local community groups to help residents feel a sense of pride about their local area. I would also like to take this opportunity to encourage residents to get involved in the project and find out more about how simple things, like recycling, can help improve their local environment.'

Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott said:

'Kent Police and Medway Council were already working together through the Medway Task Force and the Violence Reduction Unit to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour. Now I’m delighted to see the additional money I secured from the Home Office being used in a really targeted way to make the area around Gillingham High Street even safer and more pleasant for local residents.'

Chief Inspector Ian Dyball, Kent Police’s District Commander for Medway, said:

'In Medway, we have long and well established practices of working in close partnership with the council and the Safer Streets initiative is an opportunity to build on that. Our work will be focused on the prevention of crime, in particular burglaries, vehicle crime and shed break-ins. Our aim is to stop offences that blight communities and cause misery to victims.

'We know that darker evenings can present more opportunities for burglars and my officers will be out in the communities they serve to remind residents of safety advice. There will also be an opportunity for us to provide equipment, such as door chains, door viewers and property marking kits to people who need them. This is a real opportunity to work together in the community to help prevent crime and anti-social behaviour and help to keep Gillingham safe.'