Local News

Witness Appeal Following Iwade Collision

Witness Appeal Following Iwade Collision

Kent Police are appealing for witnesses following a serious road traffic collision in Iwade last night (Sunday 10th December).

A red and white Kawasaki motorbike was travelling along Ferry Road at around 7.55pm when it was in collision with a blue Mercedes A160 travelling in the opposite direction.

The motorcyclist suffered serious head injuries and was taken to a London hospital where he remains in a serious condition.

Officers from Kent Police's Serious Collision Investigation Unit attended the scene and are appealing for any witnesses, especially anyone with dashcam or CCTV footage of the collision, to contact them.

To contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, at Police Headquarters in Maidsone, you can call 01622 798538 quoting: DB/DM/278/17, or you can email: sciu.td@kent.pnn.police.uk.

KCC Leader Responds To MPs’ Bus Subsidy Concerns

KCC Leader Responds To MPs’ Bus Subsidy Concerns

Local MP Gordon Henderson has joined with Dover MP, Charlie Elphicke and several other Kent MPs, to send a letter to Paul Carter, Leader of Kent County Council (KCC), protesting at proposals to cut bus subsidies.

The letter called on KCC to shelve proposals to reduce bus subsidies by £4 million, cuts that could lead to the loss of some services and the reduction of others.

Mr Henderson said, "For some communities, the bus is the only lifeline to work, school, shops and services. I want KCC to think carefully before doing anything that would result in the loss of services."

In response to the MPs' letter, Mr Carter says he is taking charge personally of negotiations with bus operators to "...try to persuade them to keep a significant number of routes going. Without subsidy."

Mr Henderson added, "I recognise KCC has seen a reduction in the grants it gets from government and is struggling to balance its books. Perversely, while taking money away from councils, the government has capped the amount that can be raised from the council tax to pay for these vital local services.

"I have written to the Prime Minister's office asking that this be revisited and suggested that the cap on councils be scrapped. That would allow local authorities to raise the money they need, bringing real accountability to local government. If councils put up council tax bills by too much then the electorate will have the opportunity to sack councillors at the next election."

World Class Athletes To Mentor Locally

World Class Athletes To Mentor Locally

A group of young people facing disadvantage in Sittingbourne will be mentored by world class athletes, as part of a transformational programme led by the charity of double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes.

'Get on Track' is the flagship programme of the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, which trains and develops world class athletes to empower young people facing disadvantage. This enables them to take control of their own futures and contribute positively within their local communities.

The community-based personal, social and emotional development programme started on 13th November and is being led by Michelle Griffith-Robinson, Olympic Triple Jumper. The sessions - run over a 14-month period - will help young people to realise the attitudes and behaviours needed to make long term positive life choices.

Last year the programme was delivered in 62 areas of the UK and over two thirds who took part were in employment, education or training within five months of starting the programme. A further 77% of young people felt more connected to their local community.

The charity works with young people who are most in need of help, including those who are long-term unemployed, care leavers, homeless people, young offenders, women at risk of sexual exploitation and those living within isolated communities. This project has been made possible as a result of funding from the European Skills Fund

Michelle Griffith Robinson told SFM News: "We believe as a charity that every young person - no matter what their background or current circumstances - has the potential to lead a positive life. I can't wait to start working with the young people on our Sittingbourne programme and being able to support them to reach their full potential. Our programmes are proven to have a lasting impact - the short-term successes achieved, such as moving into employment or achieving in education, only represent the start of their journey - it's also about empowering them to lead a healthy lifestyle, contribute within their communities and take others with them on their journey."

Elly Virgo, Senior Area Development Manager, told SFM News: "Our programmes are only ever delivered by Trust-trained athletes who have reached a world class level in their sport. This group are naturally high performing and proven to be exceptional leaders for change in young people and communities. We're really looking to working with Swale Community Leisure again to transform the lives of young people in Sittingbourne who need our support most."

Dave Harcourt, Executive Officer for Swale Community Leisure, told SFM News: "it is really exciting working with trusted partners to deliver a transformational programme that changes the lives of young people in Swale. The positive impact achieved cannot be underestimated, with so many young people benefiting from being mentored by individuals with a high performing mindset. Get on Track continues to be proven a success and we are proud to be part of it.

Dame Kelly Holmes Trust is a UK charity that believes every young person - no matter what their background or current circumstances - has the potential to lead a positive life. Our mentoring programmes follow a theory of change to unlock five key attitudes of (Focus, Resilience, Motivation, Confidence and Determination), which we see as the catalyst for behaviour change in young people facing disadvantage.

Man Jailed For Assault On Traffic Warden

Man Jailed For Assault On Traffic Warden

A traffic warden was pushed into a restaurant window while issuing a ticket to an illegally parked driver, a court has heard.

The victim was issuing the ticket in the afternoon of Friday 6th January when the car owner, Daniel Corneille of Estuary Road, Sheerness, returned to his vehicle in Sheerness High Street and became angry.

The 47-year-old was sentenced to two years in jail on Thursday (30th November) at Maidstone Crown Court after pleading guilty to grievous bodily harm without intent following the attack.

As Corneille returned to his car he saw the victim had issued him with a parking ticket because Corneille's car was blocking paving which was designed to assist blind people when crossing the road. His car was also parked on double yellow lines.

Corneille approached the traffic warden and started to shout and swear at him before he forcefully pushed him. As the traffic warden was in the middle of taking photos to evidence the offence he was not able to break his fall and fell to the floor after hitting a restaurant window. The victim tried to stand up however Corneille pushed him again causing him to fall backwards. Corneille continued to shout at the man before he got into his car and drove away.

The victim was treated by the ambulance service following the incident and later taken to a local hospital where it was confirmed he had a fractured shoulder.

Detectives investigating the incident used a recording from the victim's body worn footage and also CCTV to identify Corneille. He was arrested on Friday 13th January and later pleaded guilty to the offence.

Investigating officer, PC Jez Chittim told SFM News: "This was an unprovoked attack on the victim who was doing his job and did not deserve to be injured for this. Corneille blamed the incident on ‘having a bad day', but a lot of people have bad days and do not lose control and act in such a violent manner. I hope that this sentencing acts as a reminder to others to not behave in the same manner."

Woman Charged Following Stabbing In Sittingbourne

Woman Charged Following Stabbing In Sittingbourne

Officers investigating a report of a stabbing in Sittingbourne have charged a woman.

Kent Police were called at 7.42am last Saturday (11th November) to Bell Road following a report that a man had suffered injuries consistent with a stabbing.

Officers attended the scene and following enquiries arrested Olive Ripley, 61, of Lion Field in Faversham.

The investigation was then passed to officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.

Olive Ripley has since been charged with wounding with intent and will appear at Maidstone Crown Court on Friday 15th December.

The victim, a man aged in his 70s, who is known to the suspect, was taken to a hospital in London for treatment where he remains in a serious but stable condition.

M2 Closed Due To Lorry Fire

M2 Closed Due To Lorry Fire

The Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) is at the scene of an HGV fire on the coast bound carriage way of the M2 between junctions 2 for Rochester and junctions 3 for Walderslade. The A229 is also cloed at The Lord Lees and Taddington Roundabouts due to big plumes of smoke moving across the carriageways. Motorists are advised to avoid the area. KFRS crews are using hose reel jets to extinguish the blaze currently. There are no reported injuries and the cause of the fire isn't known at this time.

Two Arrested In Connection With Courier Fraud

Two Arrested In Connection With Sittingbourne Courier Fraud

Officers investigating a courier fraud in Sittingbourne have arrested a 22-year-old man from London and a local 26-year-old-woman.

A woman in her nineties reported that she had received a call from someone claiming to be a police officer who told her that her debit card had been compromised. She alleged she was told to put her debit card in an envelope. The caller then asked if she had any valuables in the house and that these would also be safer at New Scotland Yard.

The woman placed approximately £20,000 worth of jewellery in a bag with her debit card and left it outside her front door for an officer to collect. A few days later she then claims to have received another call from the officer and was asked to authorise two payments as part of the investigation. These transactions totalled nearly £4000.

Detective Sergeant Marc Cananur, of Kent Police, told SFM News: "criminals who commit courier fraud offences prey on the most vulnerable members of society and care little if their victims are left penniless as a result of the lies that are spun. We are keen to ensure people know how to spot the signs of a fraudulent phone call so their finances and valuables are not put at risk. I would encourage friends and family members to pass on fraud prevention advice to help protect residents who may not be aware of this type of scam."

Kent Police advise that to protect yourself against courier fraud, by remembering:

• The police or your bank will never send a courier to your home to collect your bank card or other items and will never ask for cash, valuables, or your PIN.
• If you receive one of these calls end it immediately without providing any information.
• If you wish to call your bank use a number known to you, not one provided by the caller. Call from another phone, or call a friend first to ensure the offenders have been disconnected from your line.
• If you've handed over any personal bank details to the fraudster, call your bank and cancel your cards immediately.

Woman Arrested On Suspicion Of Distraction Robbery

Woman Arrested  On Suspicion Of Distraction Robbery

Kent Police have arrested a 25-year-old woman in connection with a distraction robbery in Sittingbourne.

The woman, who is from Sittingbourne, was arrested on Tuesday (31st October) on suspicion of robbery.

The incident happened at The Edinburgh Woollen Mill shop in the High Street, between 1.30pm and 2pm last Friday (27th October). A woman had just withdrawn £4,000 from her bank to buy a new car but noticed the cash was missing after another woman bumped into her, allegedly on purpose.

Officers previously issued CCTV of two women they wished to speak to as they believed the suspect was working with an accomplice.

The arrested woman has been released under investigation while officers carry out enquiries.

Anyone with information about the incident can call 01795 419 119 quoting reference 27-0779 or alternatively thwey can call Kent Crimestoppers, free (from any landline) and anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Pilot Extradited Back To UK To Face Smuggling Charges

Pilot Extradited Back To UK To Face Smuggling Charges

A Belgian pilot has appeared in court charged with dropping barrels of cocaine from a light aircraft into the Kent countryside.

Rudi Sels, 65, from Balen near Antwerp, was arrested by officers from the Belgian National Police on Friday 20th October.

Sels was subject of a European Arrest Warrant requested by the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) as part of their investigation into an incident in June 2016, which led to the recovery of 31 kilos of cocaine with a potential street value of £2.5m from a builders yard in Faversham.

Three men had previously been jailed for a total of 38 years in January this year for their roles in the importation.

Following his extradition from Belgium, Sels appeared before Crawley Magistrates yesterday (Tuesday 31st October) charged with conspiracy to import Class A drugs into the UK.

He was remanded in custody until his next appearance at the Old Bailey in London on Tuesday 28th November.

Appeal After Serious Collision In Church Milton

Appeal After Serious Collision In Church Milton

Kent Police are appealing for witnesses after a teenage boy was seriously injured in a road traffic collision in Sittingbourne last night (Wednesday 25th october). 

The collision happened at the junction of Newman Drive and Puttney Drive and was between a silver Vauxhall Astra and the teenage pedestrian at around 5.25pm.

The boy sustained injuries to his head and shoulder and was air lifted to a London hospital, where he remains in a serious but stable condition.

Officers from Kent Police's Serious Collision Investigation Unit would like to speak with anybody who saw either the teenage boy or the car in the moments leading up to the collision.

Anyone with any information is asked to call 01622 798538 quoting reference MH/AH/244/17 or alternatively they can email: sciu.td@kent.pnn.police.uk.

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