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PCC Matthew Scott talks to shoppers in Deal about his new Safer in Kent Plan
The Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott this week set out Kent Police’s priorities for the next four years in Safer in Kent: The Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan.
 
After listening to what was important to the public and partners, Mr Scott made one of the plan’s guiding principles that vulnerable people must be protected from harm.
 
He explained:

‘Safer in Kent: The Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan sets out the priorities that will drive the work of Kent Police, partners and my office over the next four years, and the overall strategic direction for policing and community safety in the county.
 
‘One of the key themes to come out of my public consultation last year was the importance of protecting vulnerable people. This includes tackling child sexual exploitation – which was the number one concern raised by the public – as well as abuse, drugs, gangs and human trafficking.
 
‘In response to that, I’ve made Vulnerable people must be protected from harm one of three guiding principles which underpin the whole plan. The others are Crime is important no matter where it takes place; and People suffering mental ill health need the right care from the right person.’

 
The Chief Constable’s priorities for the next four years are to:
  • Put victims first
  • Fight crime and anti-social behaviour
  • Tackle abuse, exploitation and violence
  • Combat organised crime and gangs
  • Provide visible neighbourhood policing and effective roads policing
  • Deliver an efficient service
Mr Scott said:

‘My job is to hold the Chief Constable to account for the delivery of these priorities and I’m pleased to say we have had numerous discussions about the plan and how his new policing model could help to deliver it.’

 
The PCC makes six promises himself within the plan. He will:
  • Hold the Chief Constable to account for the delivery of Kent Police’s priorities
  • Support all victims of crime and abuse
  • Commission services that reduce pressure on policing due to mental health
  • Invest in schemes that make people safer and reduce re-offending
  • Make offenders pay for the harm that they have caused
  • Actively engage with residents in Kent and Medway
He added:

‘Importantly, the plan will be regularly updated in line with what local communities want and that requires me making myself available to talk to people. On Wednesday, for example, I visited Dover District to meet with local councillors; a community group which supports residents with mental illness and depression; and I took the opportunity to chat with shoppers in Deal High Street and hand out copies of my new Plan on a Page.’

 
The PCC has set out how he is specifically listening to and supporting under-24s in a document titled Safer in Kent: Backing Young People.
 
He has also identified six opportunities for the future, which are:
  • Calling for more criminal justice powers for Police and Crime Commissioners
  • Lobbying for a fairer funding settlement for Kent
  • Further collaboration with other organisations
  • Oversight of the police complaints process
  • Ideas tested during the consultation
  • Backing volunteering.

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