Welcome to the August edition of CSU News. You may notice things are a little different this month with the publication of our new e-newsletter. As ever, we welcome your comments on how we can improve the newsletter so please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recent Crime Statistics
Crime in the borough continues to fall. There were 297 fewer victims of crime over the past year - a total of 4,843 crimes reported during the last 12 months, up to the end of July.
Shoplifting went down by 6% over the last year and vehicle crime decreased by an encouraging 8%, with Tunbridge Wells recording the fewest vehicle crimes per 1000 population in Kent. Just a reminder, however, not to leave valuables such as Sat Navs in your car. Visit our website for further advice about keeping your vehicle and its contents safe.
Following several years of domestic burglary reduction in the borough, we’re seeing a slight increase in this type of crime, so please ensure that your home is secure. Visit our website for further advice on home security. Non-domestic burglary, however, such as garden sheds and commercial premises, has gone down by 17% over the last year.
Whilst we all need to remain vigilant, Tunbridge Wells continues to be a safe place to live, and statistically is the second safest borough in Kent.
Property Marking in Paddock Wood
Two local Police Community Support Officers (PCSO), KCC Community Wardens and representatives from Play Paddock Wood and Youth Paddock Wood were in Commercial Road on Friday 24 August.
Despite the wet weather the turnout was encouraging. As well as security marking bikes and other items, the event provided the opportunity for residents to meet their local PCSO, Sarah Stanley, and receive community safety information and advice.
Follow us on Twitter for up to the minute information about future safety events in the borough @TWBC_Safe
TWITA-ing About Town
The TWITA (Tunbridge Wells is Traffic Aware) campaign hit Tunbridge Wells town centre at Fiveways on 15 August, and inspired lots of interest from passersby. There was plenty of information for people to read and take away and representatives from TWBC, Kent Police, KCC Road Safety Team and KCC Community Wardens were on hand to speak to about road safety. The public were asked to share their concerns about road safety by answering a questionnaire and we’ll be publishing the results in a future issue of CSU News.
Wildside Cycles provided bicycle and helmet checks and the Council’s “smoothie bike”, demonstrating how much pedal power is needed to make a delicious smoothie, was hardly out of use all day.
KCC’s ominous-looking Seat Belt Sled attracted lots of attention, as did the new TWBC Safety Car. Displayed for the first time, the vehicle was also showcased in Paddock Wood, Cranbrook and Hawkhurst during August, and will initially be used to enforce School Keep Clear Zones from the start of the new academic year.
Amongst all this activity the road safety messages were loud and clear. Thanks to everyone who took part, or came along, and didn’t let the wind and rain diminish their enthusiasm.
Photo: David Bartholomew http://www.tunbridgewellslife.co.uk
Road Safety Display
Just a remainder that Kent Fire & Rescue will be holding a road safety display at the Millennium Clock on Saturday 29 September, during which Firefighters will be demonstrating how they cut people out of crashed cars. Come along between 10.30am – 4pm. Further advice about this road safety event can be found on our calendar.
Advice and Information Session, Paddock Wood
A Police Community Support Officer and representatives from Paddock Wood Advice Centre will be at Waitrose in Paddock Wood on 17 September, from 10.00am to 12.00pm. They’ll be there to meet local residents and offer information and advice on crime prevention, welfare and benefits, money and debt, housing, employment, relationships and other issues.
Over 50s Information Market Day
Celebrate International Day of Older People by coming along to the Over 50s Information Market Day on 28 September, at the Camden Centre in Tunbridge Wells, from 11.00am-2.30pm. A Community Warden and a Police Community Support Officer will be there alongside other local organisations and charities to provide information and advice about safety and services for older people. This is a free event organised by Voluntary Action Within Kent. Refreshments will be available and there will be a raffle. http://www.vawk.org.uk/753-/Over-50s-Information-Market-Day.
Graffiti Blitzed in St Johns
Tunbridge Wells Borough Councillors and local residents have been out in St John’s cleaning street furniture with the CSU-funded graffiti cleaning kits.
If you’re interested in leading a clean-up in your area, contact us at email@example.com.
Thanks to councillors Caroline Derrick and David Scott, and all those who helped out, for your persistence.
Supporting Victims of Crime
Victim Support is seeking new volunteers to continue delivering a vital service that provides emotional support and practical help to victims of crime. Volunteers are needed for their witness service in courts in North and West Kent, their Kent Child Witness Service across the entire county, and also for community engagement and fundraising.
To find out more, please contact Sharon Cottage on 01233 618020, or Sophie Kemsley on 01233 618014. To receive an application pack e-mail this address or call 0845 3899 527.
Help raise funds for Victim Support by taking part in a 5-6 mile walk around Appledore on 9 September. Details by email from Sophie Kemsley or by phone 01233 618014. Or rally a team for a fundraising quiz night at the Conningbrook Hotel, Ashford, on Thursday 8th November at 7pm. Details from firstname.lastname@example.org, 01233 618024.
http://www.victimsupport.org.uk Registered charity no. 298028
Back to the Floor for Customer Service Week
The Gateway are using Customer Service Week, 1 – 7 October, as an opportunity to enable staff around the Council to experience other aspects of Council life. Schemes such as ‘back to the floor’ and job swaps will help raise awareness and increase understanding of the work the front line customer service staff do.
There will also be a health check advisor on hand at the Gateway to show customers how to use the Wellpoint machine, and to provide healthy lifestyle advice, and during the week customers will be encouraged to take part in competitions and surveys.
Long-Term Solutions to Anti-Social Behaviour
Fiveways in Tunbridge Wells town centre continues to be a hub for anti-social behaviour. Drunkenness, noise, litter and vulgar behaviour caused by the people that regularly gather there has been an on-going problem during the day and evening. Police often enforce using a Section 27 ‘Direction to Leave’, which enables them to order a person to leave a location for up to 48 hours. Perpetrators can be arrested if they refuse to leave or return within that time.
Sometimes, however, this has resulted in the problem simply being moved to another area of town. As well as enforcement measures, partners are now considering the design of the Fiveways area and what can be done to make it less attractive as a gathering place. Representatives from the police and TWBC will meet in September, and will be seeking input from local businesses with regard to resolving the problem.
Residents in Rusthall have reported an increase in anti-social behaviour among young people. Police are now taking a high profile approach between the hours of 7pm and 2am daily. Concentrating on key streets and named young people they are confiscating alcohol, dispersing groups and escorting young people home to their parents. Police and CSU partners are also looking at resolving the issues in the long term by making referrals to the Youth Inclusion Support Panel (YISP), and issuing Parenting Contracts, Anti-Social Behaviour Orders and Acceptable Behaviour Agreements.
We’d like to welcome a new member of staff to the CSU. Hilary Wells joined us in July as Engagement Officer, working within both the CSU and the Council’s Communications Team, and is the first point of contact for engagement events and communications.
We always need contributions for CSU News and would like to receive content from all our partners, so please contact Hilary with anything you’d like to include in future issues. Comments and suggestions are welcome too.
We’re also keen to increase our readership and ask that you encourage your colleagues and contacts to sign-up for CSU News. Thank you.