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Marshals Receive Positive Response

Published Tuesday 16 January, 2024
Last updated on Thursday 22 February, 2024

A campaign to tackle antisocial behaviour (ASB) in Sheerness and Sittingbourne town centres has had a positive response.

As part of Swale Borough Council’s Safer Streets campaign, uniformed marshals were operating over the December school holidays in the town centres to help prevent and tackle ASB.

The marshals wore body cameras and had radios connected through Swale Link to the council’s CCTV centre.  

This meant they were able to coordinate with the CCTV team and local police, which led to success such as being able to track down those suspected of vandalising the toilets at Beachfields.  

Kent police officer Alison Honess said:

“I asked if they could patrol around Beachfields, The High Street and Broadway, engage with any youths and be the ‘eyes on the ground’ if we’re not around. This is exactly what they have done, and then some.

“They got to know the local youths and build a rapport with them, to deal with them robustly but without conflict and been a high vis presence to reassure the public.

“I don’t want to sound over the top, but honestly it has made a big difference and credit where credits due!”

“He was absolutely brilliant, he was everywhere!”

And explained that he was able to deal with every situation on his own, communicating effectively through Swale Link.  

While a resident noticed their efforts to tackle ASB, saying:

“He was polite and did his job well. I personally saw him remove a can of Stella from one of the local drinkers and bin it and he (also) moved some on.”

Following this success, the marshals will be redeployed in February during the school holidays.

The council, through the Community Safety Partnership, worked with the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner to secure the funding needed for the campaign from the Government’s Safer Streets Fund.  

Cllr Richard Palmer, chair of council’s community committee said:  

“We knew that having the visible presence in the town centres would help make them a safer place to be, but it was great to see the marshals go above and beyond.

“They took time to get to know the local businesses and young people in the area and took a proactive approach to reducing the anti-social behaviour.

“This is only one part of our Safer Streets campaign, and there’s still more we want to achieve, but it is great to see it already having a positive impact to our community.”

Cllr Elliott Jayes, the Vice Chair of the community committee said:

“The feedback we received from the public and police is great to see, and stopping ASB before it gets out of hand is an important way of make our streets safer.  

“We have more projects to come that will help these town centres become safer places to live and visit.

“Not only in the short term, while the funding is active, but these initiatives will have a long felt positive impact on the borough as a whole.

“We hope these projects, such as the active bystander training, can help change people’s attitudes towards anti-social behaviour and violence against women and instil a sense of pride in our local communities.

“I would also like to thank the officers at the council for the hard work they are putting in behind the scenes to co-ordinate all of the Safer Street's projects.”

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