Local News

Appeal After Woman On Mobility Scooter Harassed

Appeal After Woman On Mobility Scooter Harassed

Local officers are appealling for information following a report a woman, using a mobility scoote and being assisted by a service dog, was harassed by four young people in Sittingbourne on Monday (16th August) morning.

The four individuals, who are described as being males in their mid to late teens, are said to have verbally abused the woman in Bourne Place, off St Michael’s Road, between 8.40pm and 9pm on Monday. The suspects are all described as being white and were wearing black tops. Two of the individuals were wearing dark trousers, with another wearing black shorts and the final one wearing grey trousers. At least one of the individuals was travelling on an e-scooter.

Since the incident, officers have spoken to the victim and also gathered CCTV from a number of sources, with the footage continuing to be reviewed. As part of enquiries, investigators are keen to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the incident, or captured the suspects on privately held video footage such as dash cameras or CCTV.

Anyone with any information that can assist is asked to call 01795 419119 quoting 46/150091/21, or, alternatively, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers free and anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or using the anonymous online form available via this link: https://crimestoppers-uk.org

Upchurch PCSOs Commended For Response

Upchurch PCSOs Commended For Response

The supervisor of two PCSOs who came to the rescue of a man who had suffered a medical incident in Upchurch has commended the officers for their quick thinking.

PCSOs Lee Fennell and John Cork were on patrol in Upchurch on the evening of Monday 2nd August when a member of the public flagged them down to report a man had fallen from his bike.

On arrival, they located the cyclist lying on the pavement and drifting in and out of consciousness. The pair established he was a diabetic and did not have any insulin on him.

Concerned he may be slipping into a diabetic coma, PCSO Fennell rushed to a nearby store and got a chocolate bar and orange juice while PCSO Cork stayed with him. As they were assisting the man a member of the public stopped at the scene and told the officers he was a doctor and began triage.

With the assistance of the sugary snacks, the man’s condition improved and attending medical crews confirmed the cyclists blood sugar was very low but the chocolate and orange juice had helped with his recovery.

Sergeant Ryan Chase told SFM News: "This is a good example of members of the community working with our officers to assist someone in need. I would like to commend PCSOs Fennell and Cork for their actions, as well as the member of the public who flagged them down and the doctor who stopped the moment he saw someone who needed help. Their actions potentially saved a life. Thankfully the man concerned was returned home by the ambulance crew and made a full recovery."

'Deliberate' Corn Field Fire In Rodmersham

'Deliberate' Corn Field Fire In Rodmersham

Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) were called to reports of a fire in corn fields off Highsted Road, in Rodmersham, earlier today (Saturday 14th August).

Two fire engines were sent to the scene at around 3:30pm and crews used hose reel jets to extinguish the flames, which destroyed an area of approximately 10m x 10m of corn. 
 
No casualties were reported. 
 
It’s believed the fire was started deliberately. 
 
The KFRS told SFM News: "Grass fires are more common in the summer months, when the ground is dry and can cause flames to spread more quickly. Incidents like this can have a devastating impact, injuring or killing wildlife, destroying property and livelihoods, and even putting people’s lives at risk. 
 
You can help to reduce the risk of a grass fire, by: 
 
- When lighting a bonfire, keep it to a manageable size, make sure it’s well clear of greenery and property, and always supervise it while it’s burning. Avoid having a bonfire in windy weather. 
 
- Dispose of smoking materials responsibly, making sure they’re fully stubbed out and cooled before being put in a bin - consider using a portable ashtray when on the go. 
 
- Place disposable barbecues on a sturdy, non-flammable surface when cooking, away from greenery and property, and only place in a bin once fully cool".

Police Appeal After Sheep Found 'Butchered' In Field

Police Appeal After Sheep Found 'Butchered' In Field

Rural crime investigators are appealing for information after two sheep were killed in a field in Newington.

The livestock were found dead in Church Lane on the night of Sunday 8th and Monday 9th August 2021.

Sergeant Darren Walshaw, from Kent Police’s Rural Task Force, told SFM News: "The two sheep concerned had been butchered by a person, or persons, with expertise in removing meat from a carcass and this this is naturally a distressing incident for the people who reared the animals. Fortunately, incidents of this nature are relatively rare however we do know that farm animals can be seen as a target for thieves. We are fully aware of the impact offending of this nature has on farmers and will always review all reasonable lines of enquiry. I’d also encourage members of the public, particularly people living in rural communities, to be wary of this type of offending and to contact us if they have any suspicions."

Anyone with any information on the incident is asked to call Kent Police on 01795 419119 quoting 46/144168/21 or, alternatively, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers free and anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or using the anonymous online form at Crimestoppers-uk.org.

Two Arrests After 'Bin Men' High Street Brawl

Two Arrests After 'Bin Men' High Street Brawl

A disturbance in Chatham High Street has led to two men being arrested, one of which is from the Sittingbourne area.

Last Wednesday (4th August) investigating officers arrested a 30-year-old man from Sittingbourne on suspicion of affray. He was additionally arrested for two counts of assaulting an emergency worker.

A second man, aged 28 and from the Gillingham area, was arrested on suspicion of affray on Thursday 5th August.

They were arrested in connection with an incident which was filmed by several people and posted online on Monday 5th July. It took place in Chatham High Street at around 5:00pm.

Following the report of the incident patrols attended the area but those responsible had already left the scene.

Officers have worked with partners to identify the individuals involved which lead to the arrests being carried out.

Both men have since been released, pending further enquiries.

Anyone with information or who witnessed the incident who has not yet spoken to officers can call 01634 792209, quoting reference 46/118487/21.

Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers in Kent free and anonymously on 0800 555 111, or complete the online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Mud Rescue Undertaken At Conyer Creek

Mud Rescue Undertaken At Conyer Creek

Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) were called to reports of two people stuck in mud on Conyer Wharf in Sittingbourne earlier this afternoon (Sunday 8th August).

Three fire engines and a Water Safety Unit were sent to the scene, and crews wearing dry suits used a throw line to access the casualties, before towing them to safety in a dinghy.

They were then passed into the care of South East Coast Ambulance. Kent Police and the Coastguard was also in attendance.

Following the incident, crews are reminding people to be aware of tide times by rivers and the coast, and to be careful in muddy areas, since it can be easy to become stuck. You should also always bring a mobile phone out with you, so that you can call for help if you're in an emergency.

Witness Appeal Following 'Suspicious' House Fire

Witness Appeal Following 'Suspicious' House Fire

Local detectives are investigating a fire at a house in Sittingbourne and appealing for witnesses.

At about 10.40pm on Sunday 1st August, it is believed the front door of the property in Frederick Street had been set alight. No-one was in the house at the time, but the door, the porch and a large amount of belongings were destroyed.

A 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage. He has been released on bail while enquiries continue.

Officers would like to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the fire or who may have information that could assist with the investigation.

You can call Kent Police on 01795 419119 quoting reference 46/138098/21 or, alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers free and anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or by filling in the online report form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information

Dispersal Order In Murston And Great Easthall Issued

Dispersal Order In Murston And Great Easthall Issued

Individuals involved in anti-social behaviour are the target of a Kent Police dispersal order, which is being enforced in the Murston and Great Easthall areas of town.

Across July and the beginning of August, Police have received reports of young people verbally abusing members of the public and shop staff in the Murston Road, Church Road and Harkness Court areas.

It is also reported that teenagers have been seen poorly riding quadbikes and mopeds, in addition to swimming in a lake off Mulberry Way.

The dispersal order gives officers the power to move on any individual who they suspect is involved, or likely to become involved in, nuisance behaviour. It also gives patrols the power to escort anyone under the age of 18 home. 

The order will remain in place until Friday 6th August and failure to comply with an instruction to leave the area is an offence that risks arrest.

Inspector Joel Mitchell, from the Swale Community Safety Unit, told SFM News: ‘After what has been a very disruptive year, we fully understand why people want to enjoy the summer months but that cannot be to the detriment of the wider community. Since the beginning of the school holidays, we have already received 11 reports of nuisance and abusive behaviour in this particular area and that cannot be allowed to continue. Our officers will regularly be patrolling the Murston and Great Easthall areas and will not hesitate to take proportionate action on anyone who exercises a disregard for the wellbeing and wishes of the surrounding community. I also encourage anyone affected by such behaviour to make a report, either through our website or by calling 101. This will help us continue to monitor the problem and determine any future courses of action."

Council Reviews Existing Conservation Areas

Council Reviews Existing Conservation Areas

Local residents and interested parties can now have their say on conservation areas in the Milstead and Sittingbourne area.

Swale Borough Council is reviewing the existing conservation areas and has opened it up for public consultation.

Cllr Mike Baldock, cabinet member for planning at the council, told SFM News: “We’ve committed to regularly reviewing important conservation areas across the borough. We reviewed conservation areas in in Borden Parish and Tonge earlier this year and made changes to include some historic parts of the borough that we felt needed protecting. For Milstead and Sittingbourne conservation areas, we are proposing to extend some of the current boundaries, and we want to know people’s thoughts".

Cllr Baldock went on to add: "The current Sittingbourne boundary is at the east end of the high street and we are proposing to extend it to also include parts of East Street down towards Aldi. In Milstead, we’re proposing to extend the boundary to include a number of areas, such as the historic cricket ground and Trotts Hall, which was moved brick-by-brick from a site off Bell Road in the 1970s. We want to hear opinions from local people on these proposed changes. What makes their local conservation area special? Are the boundaries in the right place? Do we need to have additional controls in place? We have a rich heritage in Swale and it’s important that we protect it for future generations.”

To find out more and have your say visit www.swale.gov.uk/conservation-areas.

The consultation runs from Monday 2nd August, until Sunday 19th September and the documents can be viewed at Sittingbourne Library. The Milstead documents are also available from the Milstead Parish Clerk.

Comments can be emailed to: conservation@swale.gov.uk or posted to CA Consultation, Planning Services, Swale House, East Street, Sittingbourne ME10 3HT.

Road Safety Campaign Targets Speeding Motorists

Road Safety Campaign Targets Speeding Motorists

Speeding motorists will be targeted by Kent Police as part of a two week national campaign aimed at reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads.

Between Monday 26th July and Sunday 8th August 2021, Kent Police and other forces across the country will be supporting an operation led by the National Police Chiefs’ Council to educate and enforce the law against those who speed and place other road users at risk.

Kent Police say that "speeding is one of the ‘fatal factors’ that contribute to the highest number of road collisions resulting in deaths and serious injuries, along with not wearing a seatbelt, driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs, and using a mobile phone or other electronic device at the wheel".

The traffic operation here in Kent will see officers from the Road Safety Unit supported by other roads policing colleagues and volunteers from the Special Constabulary visit speeding hotspots across the county. The Safety Camera Team will also be deployed to existing authorised locations to provide a visible deterrent to anyone considering driving over the limit.

Meanwhile, Community Speedwatch volunteers will also be taking part in the operation at approved sites across Kent with 20, 30 and 40mph speed limits. Community Speedwatch is an educational alternative to enforcement, with warning letters sent to registered owners of vehicles caught exceeding the limit.

The last national speeding operation was held in April 2020 when around 10,800 speeding offences were recorded in Kent including more than 500 that were serious enough to warrant a court appearance.

Chief Inspector Elena Hall, Head of Roads Policing at Kent Police, told SFM News: "Whilst the vast majority of motorists drive in a safe and responsible manner on a daily basis, there are still too many travelling at unacceptable speeds who put themselves and other road users in harm’s way. Motor vehicles are potentially lethal weapons and the faster your speed, the less time you have to react to unforeseen hazards or mistakes from other drivers and the greater the impact any collision may be – making it more likely that you or someone else will be killed or seriously injured. We therefore will not hesitate to take enforcement action against anyone caught driving in such a reckless manner, not only during the course of this national operation but every day when our officers are on patrol. Road safety is a shared responsibility and we work regularly with our partners including Kent County Council, Medway Council and Highways England to help educate all motorists about the best way to ensure we all reach our destinations safely."

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