Published 10 February 2020

Meeting 100 new officers.jpg

The Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel has unanimously backed transformational budget plans put forward by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Matthew Scott.

This means Kent Police has been given the green light to recruit additional police officers, PCSOs and staff for 2020/21. These extra resources will boost community visibility, and tackle residents’ top concerns such as anti-social behaviour, violent crime, and burglary.

Speaking after the Police and Crime Panel meeting at County Hall in Maidstone, the PCC Mr Scott said:

‘Now my plans have been approved, Kent Police will be able to grow by a further 181 police officers in the coming year. There will also be 36 more PCSOs focused on preventing crime and anti-social behaviour; and around 100 more police staff roles to support the frontline.

‘This means the Chief Constable is going to have more of the resources he needs to bring burglars, robbers and violent criminals to justice. There will be more resources going into schools to work with children, parents and teachers, and we are maintaining our commitment to visible community policing.’

Last summer, of the thousands of people Mr Scott consulted with, more than 73% said they would again be happy to pay a little bit more towards policing. As a result, Mr Scott proposed increasing the policing part of an average Band D property’s council tax bill by £10 to £203.15.

These plans were approved by the Police and Crime Panel on 6 February.

During the meeting, Mr Scott explained to panel members how Kent Police had 450 more police officers than when he came into office in 2016. These have been funded by investment he raised through council tax increases in previous years, delivering the additional resources residents have consistently called for.

Mr Scott welcomed the last 100 of those 450 officers to Kent Police College today (pictured above).

A further 181 to be recruited this year will take Kent Police’s police officer strength to 3,813 by March 2021. That is compared to 3,787 in March 2010; or 3,181 in March 2016.

Mr Scott added:

‘It is not within my gift to tell the Chief Constable how these new resources are deployed but I do expect them to support the priorities in my Police and Crime Plan. And what he has indicated to me is that they will go towards visibility, vulnerability and public contact.’

Kent Police is also being required to make the £9million of savings it had already identified in 2020/21, ensuring the force remains as efficient as possible and continues to represent value for taxpayers’ money.