Local News

Appeal Following Reported High Street Assault

Appeal Following Reported High Street Assault

Kent Police are appealing for witnesses to a reported assault in Sittingbourne on the evening of Saturday 5th April, at approximately 11:55pm, that left a woman with facial injuries.

The victim, aged 50, reported that she was walking from the train station past the Forum Shopping Centre when a group of men starting verbally abusing her. She walked away but the group surrounded her and began pushing her. She managed to run away into the High Street but the group surrounded her again hitting her in the face. Some members of the public came to the victim's aid and assisted her into a taxi.

A 20-year-old man from Faversham, has been charged with assault and attempted robbery following the incident.

Officers are appealing for anybody who witnessed the assault to come forward, particularly the people who helped the victim afterwards, who may have seen something.

Anybody with any information is asked to call the investigating officer, DC Simon Mather, directly on 01634 792285, or they can contact Kent Crimestoppers free (from any landline) and anonimously on 0800 555 111.

Dispersal Area Introduced On The Meads

Dispersal Area Introduced On The Meads

Kent Police officers are to be given more powers to deal with groups of people causing anti-social behaviour in a residential area of Sittingbourne.

A Dispersal Area will operate in The Meads (Sonora Fields) estate for six months until the end of September 2014 and has been jointly authorised by Kent Police and Swale Borough Council under the powers of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003. Under the Act, any group of two or more people found causing or likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress can be dispersed by a uniformed officer.
Young people under 16 not accompanied by a responsible adult between 9pm and 6am can be taken back to their home. Failure to comply could lead to a fine of up to £2,500 and/or three months' imprisonment.

The Dispersal Area is to be introduced following an increase in the number of reports of anti-social behaviour involving groups of youths congregating in the alleyways and community spaces of the housing development. It is not thought many of the youngsters are local to the estate, so neighbourhood officers hope the Dispersal Area will stop them using it for anti-social behaviour, which includes criminal damage.

Inspector Mark Button, of the Swale Community Safety Unit, told SFM News: "We won't tolerate law-abiding members of the public being intimidated and made to feel unsafe in their own homes. This area has been the subject of focused patrolling by neighbourhood officers in the past month. As a result, we've seen a decrease in the number of call-outs to anti-social behaviour. However, we want to continue this and the Dispersal Area will assist us further."

Sittingbourne Carnival Court Selected

Sittingbourne Carnival Court Selected

The selection of the Sittingbourne Carnival Court 2014 was held on Saturday (22nd March) at the Woodcombe Sports and Social Club, Church Road, Murston.

This year there were 12 entries for the honour to become Miss Sittingbourne 2014, with four changing their minds for various reasons meaning that there were eight entering on the actual day. The judges found their task quite difficult this year with so many to choose from, and the marks were quite close. All the entrants were interviewed privately by the judges at the beginning of the evening and just after 8pm they took it in turns to speak on stage and to the audience and also to answer some questions put to them by the compare for the evening.

The three lucky entrants chosen for the Sittingbourne Carnival Court of 2014 were:-
Miss Sittingbourne 2014 - Georgia Lane, aged 16.
Joint Sittingbourne Princesses 2014 - Ashleigh Taylor and Kendle Hunter, both 16.

The three judges at the selection were: The Mayor of Swale, Cllr Sue Gent; former Mayor and Cllr Ben Stokes and Claire Fosbeary (Former Miss Sittingbourne 1990 and Community Life Champion at Asda, Sittingbourne). The adjudicator was Cllr Sylvia Bennett. The compare for the evening was Maria Lawrence (Miss Sittingbourne 2010) and there were 2 other former Miss Sittingbourne's helping with the contestants, these were Laura Petch (2012) and Leanne Martin (2008). 14 other carnival courts attended along with the friends and families of the 8 contestants, with around 180 people attending in total.

The 106.9 SFM Roadshow will be appearing at this year's Sittingbourne Carnival on Saturday 21st June.

Three Men Charged With Sittingbourne Burglaries

Three Men Charged With Sittingbourne Burglaries

Three men have been charged in connection with a number of burglaries in the Sittingbourne area.

Benjamin Samuels (32) and Alan Looker (33) both of Milbourne Grove, Sittingbourne have been charged with four counts of burglary. Additionally Sydney Samuels (37) also of Milbourne Grove, Sittingbourne has been charged with five counts of burglary.

The men were all charged yesterday (Monday 24th March) and were remanded in police custody overnight. They are due to appear before Medway Magistrates Court via virtual video later today.

Police recovered war medals following the execution of a search warrant.



Appeal After Sittingbourne War Hero Burgled

Appeal After Sittingbourne War Hero Burgled

Kent Police have launched an investigation after two elderly people living in the same road were burgled.

At around 6.40pm on Tuesday (18th March) evening medals were stolen from the home of a 100-year-old war hero. The victim left his address in Cherry Close, Sittingbourne, to attend a British Legion function. When he returned, he found the house had been ransacked and a number of his war medals - belonging to both him for his time in the service and his father, including one from HMS Swift - and a quantity of cash, believed to be around £300 and £400, taken.

The following day, it was reported another property on the same street was burgled between 7.25pm and 11.25pm. When the 75-year-old victim returned to the property, she found her belongings strewn everywhere. A diamond ring worth £400, a camera, a Nintendo Wii and a clock were among items stolen.

DCI Ann Lisseman, commander of the North Divisional Burglary Teams, told SFM News "The people who committed these despicable crime are cowardly and clearly lack any respect for their community. At present, we are linking these incidents. In particular, stealing medals from a war hero is disgraceful. My officers are doing all they can and using all the tools at their disposal to track down the offenders and bring them to justice. We have already executed a number of warrants and intend to continue to do so, as well as pursuing other lines of enquiry. I know the community will feel as strongly as we do that the person or people who committed these offences need to be caught and brought to justice. We ask that members of the public come forward with any information."

Anybody with any information is asked to contact burglary detectives directly on 01474 366666 or alternatively they can remain anonymous by calling Kent Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 (free from any landline).


'In Bloom' Winners Picked From Local Schools

'In Bloom' Winners Picked From Local Schools

After much deliberation, Sittingbourne in Bloom have finally decided whose design will be planted on the station roundabout in late May.

Each year, Sittingbourne in Bloom invites the students from all the primary schools in the town to design a layout for the summer bedding on the station roundabout, which is sponsored by ‘Lets Go Green Cabs'.

This year, seven schools entered the competition with 400 entries being received. The entries were whittled down to a short list of 25, with the winning design coming from Ben Clark of Grove Park School. Second place went to Jack Mills of Lansdown School, with third place going to Andrew Dutton of St Peter's Catholic School.

Mayor of Swale, Cllr Sue Gent, hosted the prize giving event in her parlour at 2pm on Monday 10 March and said: "This competition was very popular and triggered some very clever ideas from those who took the time to enter. Only one winner could be selected and I, along with the rest of Swale cannot wait to see Ben Clark's design in bloom."

Loss Of Production Staff At Milton Pipes Announced

Loss Of Production Staff At Milton Pipes Announced

The Production Team staff at Milton Pipes Ltd, on Cooks Lane in Milton Regis, have been told at a meeting that their jobs are to go in the summer.

The previously family-owned company became part of the CPM Group in 2010. It is believed that production will be absorbed by CPM's other sites in Yorkshire and Somerset. 

In a statement the company confirmed "a consultation will be entered of 30 days, in line with current regulation regarding less than 100 redundancies. The closure will be conducted over an extended period with production finishing by the end of June 2014 and site clearance completed by the end of this year. A Sales Office and Distribution Depot will be retained".

Local MP for Sittingbourne & Sheppey, Gordon Henderson, told SFM News "I am disappointed to hear of the loss of these jobs in our area and it makes it more important for us to find new investment for jobs locally".


Police Sweep In Sheppey Burglary And Theft Raids

Police Sweep In Sheppey Burglary And Theft Raids

Two men and a teenage boy have been arrested during early morning raids today (Tuesday 11th March) by a team of officers and detectives targeting those suspected of burglary and vehicle crime on Sheppey.

The team executed three warrants at addresses in Lapwing Close in Minster at about 8am and Neighbourhood and Divisional Support Unit officers, led by Island Sergeant Clive Garton, carried out searches at those addresses and seized items of property including mobile phones, a Ford Focus car and a Kawasaki motorbike.

A 23-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy, both from Minster, were arrested on suspicion of theft. A 21-year-old man of no fixed address was arrested on suspicion of theft of motor vehicle. All three remain in police custody.

Detective Sergeant Ian Sanderson, who heads up the team tackling burglary and vehicle theft in Swale, told SFM News: "The aim of today was not just about arresting those suspected of breaking into homes or stealing from cars, but disrupting the network that is fuelling these crimes. We will also continue to target those people who operate as handlers and reduce the outlets for stolen property.
My team is working extremely hard to reduce the number of burglaries, not just on Sheppey, but across Swale and days like today highlights how we act on information received. We take reports of burglary and vehicle crime very seriously and would urge members of the public to contact us should they suspect goods might be stolen. We always recommend people protectively mark their property and to keep it securely locked away, to try and prevent crimes taking place in the first place. However, if they do occur we work hard to both trace those responsible and also find the missing property".

In addition to the enforcement activity, Kent Police are also providing crime prevention advice on their website and it includes videos to help you prevent becoming a victim of crime. Please see:- http://www.kent.police.uk/advice/advice.html.

Swale House Is Flying The Commonwealth Flag

Swale House Is Flying The Commonwealth Flag

Swale Borough Council has joined hundreds of local authorities up and down the country by raising the Commonwealth flag on Commonwealth Day (Monday 10th March).

At 10.00am five hundred flags were raised in unison across the British Isles to allow communities to express their commitment to the Commonwealth, to show their appreciation of the values it stands for, and the opportunities that are available.

Leader of the Council, Andrew Bowles, read out the Commonwealth Affirmation and Queen's Message at the front of Swale House, whilst the Duty House Superintendent raised the flag from the roof. After the prestigious flag was raised, Council Leader Andrew Bowles told SFM News: "It was a real pleasure to be part of the Commonwealth flag ceremony, with fellow members of the Cabinet and others outside of Swale House. This event took place up and down the country and reaffirms Swale's commitment to the Commonwealth."

Mayor of Swale Cllr Sue Gent was over at the Sheppey Gateway in Sheerness High Street with her Mayoral Cadet, Cadet Sergeant Jake Hanley of Kent Army Cadet Force in Sittingbourne, and both shared the responsibility of reading the Commonwealth Affirmation and Queen's Message.

Upon seeing the flag raised Mayor of Swale, Sue Gent told SFM News: "This is the first time that a ceremony of this scale has taken place for Commonwealth Day and I felt very honoured to be part of it and pledge our continued support to the Commonwealth."

The Commonwealth flag was also raised at The Alexander Centre in Preston Road, Faversham, at 10.00am to show it's support for Commonwealth Day aswell.

Kamalesh Sharma, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth told SFM News: "Flying a Flag for the Commonwealth is a most imaginative way for people in local communities - wherever they live, learn or work - to join together with others throughout the Commonwealth in a spirit of respect and understanding to celebrate the variety and unmatched diversity of our global family. I welcome and commend it."


Witness Appeal Following Nightclub Assault

Witness Appeal Following Nightclub Assault

Detectives investigating an assault outside a Sittingbourne nightclub that left a man with a broken jaw and fractured cheekbone have urged witnesses to come forward.

Kent Police were called to a report of a disturbance outside the Life nightclub in the High Street at about 3am on Sunday 23rd February. It is believed a 25 year old local man was outside the club with a friend when he noticed a girl he knew being spoken to by a group of men. Believing she was being harassed, he asked the group to leave her alone. The victim was punched in the face before being repeatedly assaulted while on the floor.

He was later taken to hospital for treatment for a broken jaw, fractured cheekbones and swelling and bruising to his head. His friend was also reported to have been assaulted and received a minor facial injury.

Investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Cara Ferguson, told SFM News: "The victim had been on a night out in the town when he attempted to help a female friend who he believed was in an uncomfortable situation. He was assaulted by the group for his troubles and left with some quite nasty injuries. There were undoubtedly people coming out of the club around the time of the incident or perhaps walking past on their way home from a night out. I would urge anyone who might have seen what happened in the early hours of that morning, or who might have some important information, to come forward and help us with our enquiries".

If you, or anyone you know, has any information, please contact DS Ferguson on 01634 792584 quoting reference XY/6610/14. Alternatively, contact Kent Crimestoppers free (from any landline) and anonymously on 0800 555 111.


Subscribe to Latest 106.9 SFM Local News

100% Local Radio for Sittingbourne