I was fortunate to have a good chat with our PCSO last week while she was parked at Lime Wharf having a good look at the village.
She was in a clearly identified police vehicle. She is copied in on this message.
I have also been in touch with Mike Hill, of Kent County Council to discuss Community Wardens, policing and administrative boundaries and received a full and lengthy reply and also with a personal friend who is a community warden operating in the Tonbridge Area, which, unfortunately for us means that he officially stops at Sandhurst, although he does visit Newenden on occasion.
The realistic picture, which will not change in the forseeable future is that:
We do get police presence, often by unmarked vehicles so we are not always aware of said presence. This presence will not be increased other than in emergency situations.The police have responsibilities to other geographic areas too, and are generally understaffed, at least partly because of an unfortunate combination of both extra Covid work and maternity leave.
I have direct contact with Katherine and where there is local interest, particularly where there is evidence as with the recent boat engine theft she will try and get involved.
She, and her various colleagues are not always on shift, in all cases the correct course of action is to ring 101 and let the on shift policing staff take whatever action may be appropriate at the time. If you feel it appropriate contact me as well and if I think it appropriate I will pass the information on to Katherine.
As a separate issue I am pursuing a Neighbourhood watch scheme and as soon as it is appropriate I will arrange for Andrew Judd, Kent Police, to come and address a Parish Council meeting. Just briiefly I would mention that locations with active neighbourhood watch schmes are 25% less likely to harbour crime than other areas. I would like to establish such a scheme as soon as government guidelines allow us to meet.
Best wishes, Derek