Sunday, August 13, 2006

Police desert Thanet in favour of Canterbury

Kent police's decision as announced by Chief Superintendent Peter West to run down police services in Margate and consequently the whole of Thanet is almost as surprising as the answer phone approached to policing we have come to know and expect.

This is a case of complete arrogance on the part of our county police force, where would you put the heart of your local policing?

A/ Canterbury a cosy affluent town with a well-heeled predominantly middle-class population and easy access to Maidstone.

B/ Thanet with a massive transient population, high unemployment and low wage economy. Wrong the answers A

This isn't just about saving money it's also about social division despite the fact that Thanet has bigger crime problems Kent police have chosen to desert Thanet. Why would you want to remove your resources from the greatest need, it's beyond me, all I can think is that the police are pretty much unaccountable, in any meaningful way to the public, so what do they care once again we lose.

It says something about Kent polices attitude to the public that the Chief Constable Michael Fuller, has not apparently found it necessary to comment on the 16 per cent rise in violent crime, in Kent in the media, or this retreat announced by Peter West.

I can imagine, senior Kent police officers planning to gradually close all local police stations and have them replaced with Porter cabins, staffed by police community support officers (community wardens) in command of Boy Scouts and other publicly spirited citizens ready to attend incidents. This would then free up police officers to check their expenses and payslips at Maidstone headquarters and senior officers to hobnob with each other over a cup of tea and come up with the occasional press release or media opportunity.

This retreat from Thanet, is symptomatic of traditional bias in Kents services and infrastructure, being located predominantly in West Kent and Maidstone, perhaps Paul Carter as the democratically elected leader of the Kent council, could put some political pressure on Kent police, who are after all, are well paid employees of local tax payers.

I would like to send a copy of this posting, to Michael Fuller and Peter West but as with all good organisations, their website does not provide an e-mail address (another surprise).


  1. Tony you have been conned by a witch hunt on this subject started by Cllr Clive Hart to make himself sound important. Thanet and Canterbury have been joined for some time, and the ability to draw in officers from Canterbury when needed in Thanet has already been used to good effect. !7 constables are scheduled to be withdrawn from East Kent, ie Canterbury as well, and we will get 62 new PCSO's in the joined area. The withdrawn constables will be reshaped into crime squad type activity, which will operate here as well (recent drug raids?). There will still be a local commander, although as we have known for some time the overall commander will be based in Canterbury. Cllr Hart chose to take the rumours about these things and create a panic. I and others have had little old ladies ringing up toask me to stop the closure of the ploce station at Margate, courtesy of Cllr Harts self serving importance.

    We will judge these changes by their impact on policing the streets over time. You will recall the battle to upgrade Canterbury or QEQM hospitals, in the end the services went where they were needed. Policing may have to follow a similar path, but for now the changes are not of the sort to start any panic. YOur blog should be a little responsible on occasion!

    Chris Wells