Local News

Sittingbourne Prepares For National Lockdown

Sittingbourne Prepares For National Lockdown

As the new fast coronavirus testing station opened at Kemsley Community Centre on Ridham Avenue in Kemsley (ME10 2SF), to help bring down the infection rates in the Sittingbourne area the Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the third National Lockdown.

Today's figures were announced at 4pm today (Tuesday 5th January) and appear above.

Stay tuned to 106.9 SFM for all the information you need 24 hours a day and remember to #StayAtHome and #ProtectThe NHS and to #SaveLives.

Appeal After Teenage Boy Assaulted In Milton Regis

Appeal After Teenage Boy Assaulted In Sittingbourne

Kent Police are looking for information following a report that a teenage boy was assaulted in Milton Regis in late November.

Police confirmed today (Tuesday 29th December) that between 7.30pm and 8.00pm on Monday 30th November a group of up to 11 young people were reported to have assaulted the victim in Milton Recreation Ground. The boy was subsequently taken to a local hospital to receive treatment for facial injuries.

Officers have carried out numerous enquiries since the incident, including checking for CCTV, speaking with potential witnesses and completing house to house checks.

A 16-year-old boy from Sittingbourne has also been interviewed, non-custodially, in connection with the incident but officers believe there are witnesses who will have additional information, or CCTV that covers the surrounding area, and would like to hear from them.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Kent Police on 01795 419119 quoting 46/213956/20.

Alternatively they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers in Kent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or complete the online form at https://crimestoppers-uk.org.

Large Blaze Being Tackled At Recycling Centre

Large Blaze Being Tackled At Recycling Centre

Crews remain at the scene of a fire at an industrial premises on Gas Road in Milton Regis. 
The Kent Fire & Rescue Service (KFRS) told SFM News that: " steady progress is being made to extinguish the fire, with crews using hose reel jets to tackle the flames". 
People living and working in the Kemsley / Milton Regis area are being asked to keep their windows and doors closed, due to large amounts of smoke in the area. 
The KFRS confirmed that they were called to the fire at the Sweeep Kuusakoski centre on Gas Road at around 08:40am this morning (Sunday 27th December).
Three fire engines were initially sent to the scene and crews are continuing their work to extinguish the fire. 

Sweeep's Commercial Manager, Justin Greenaway,​ confirmed to SFM News that "the fire had taken place in a bunker of waste electronics material" at the premises.

Stay tuned to 106.9 SFM for the latest.

Environment Agency Issue Flood Alert

Environment Agency Issue Flood Alert

The Environment Agency has issued a Flood Alert due to the high tide forecast for this afternoon (Tuesday 15th December).

The highest tide level is expected to be around 12:40pm with flooding possible two hours either side of this time.

The Environment Aganecy confirmed that they "were monitoring the situation, though flooding to properties is not expected. Our incident response staff are checking our defences and structures and are prepared to respond if required.".

Areas of concern include Faversham and Conyer and they advise that people should be careful along beaches, promenades, coastal footpaths and roads as large waves and sea spray could be dangerous.

Coastal conditions are forecast to improve following this tide and no further alerts are expected to be issued in the coming days.

For those who need it, the forecast total water height at Sheerness will be at 12:38pm and the afternoon tide is 3.47m AOD.

Police Warning Following Spate Of Delivery Van Thefts

Police Warning Following Spate Of Delivery Van Thefts

Delivery drivers working around the county in the run-up to Christmas are being warned about a spike in van thefts and assaults and are being given safety advice by Kent Police.

Since the beginning of November there have been nine reports concerning either delivery drivers who have been assaulted or vans stolen in Ashford, Dartford, Sevenoaks, Rochester, Sittingbourne and Gillingham.

Here in Sittingbourne on Thursday 19th November a van was stolen from Albany Road at around 4:00pm. The driver heard the van starting up and tried to stop the suspect. He was injured as the suspect drove away. The van had around 50 parcels inside (Crime Ref: 46/207029/20).

Kent Police are investigating all the reports across the county and it is unknown, at this stage, whether the offences are linked. Businesses, partner agencies and hauliers are being warned about the issue and offered safety advice to pass on to their drivers to ensure they remain as protected as possible and stay vigilant to the offending.

The advice includes:

  • If you spot a suspicious vehicle following you, do not get out of your car or van, keep the doors locked, keep moving and call 999.
  • Agree a delivery plan with your employer or family member and keep in touch regularly.
  • Consider alternative routes to avoid always travelling on the same roads.
  • Ensure your mobile phone is fully charged.
  • If something does not feel right, don’t make the delivery and call your employer.
  • Avoid areas that are not well lit, use a torch and always lock your vehicle – it only takes a minute for a thief to get into your van and take goods.
  • Consider tinted windows to ensure passers-by can’t see what is inside your vehicle.
  • Consider installing a tracker to assist in recovering your vehicle if it does get stolen.

Superintendent Pete Steenhuis, from Kent Police, told SFM News: ‘We have officers paying particular attention to this type of offending and are working with businesses to warn as many drivers as we can and offer advice to help keep them safe. It is clear that criminals are willing to be violent in order to get their hands on vans and parcels and we would ask everyone to be vigilant as Christmas approaches, when deliveries are busier than usual. Whilst officers around the county investigate these separate incidents, it is important drivers take all the necessary steps available to secure their vehicles and report anything suspicious to us straight away."

Police are urging people to be mindful of such incidents, stay alert and if you are expecting a delivery and see something suspicious to report the details to them immediately. Any information, no matter how seemingly insignificant, could be of great help in order to identify the offenders.

Anyone who witnessed any of these incidents or has information that could assist in any of the investigations is urged to call 01795 419119 quoting the reference shown above.

Man Charged With Sittingbourne Distraction Burglary

Man Charged With Sittingbourne Distraction Burglary

A Sheppey man has been charged following a report of a distraction burglary here in Sittingbourne.

On Sunday (6th December) a man, who was known to the victim, knocked on his door in Chilton Avenue offering him spare parts for his car.

The victim engaged in conversation with the man before he returned to his property. The man then knocked on the door again and asked if he could rinse out a baby bottle before also asking for a glass of water.

The victim agreed and invited the man into his home and spoke to him while in the kitchen, however as he was leaving the property the victim noticed his wallet, which contained bank cards and a significant quantity of money, was missing.

Bradley Dobson, aged 47 and of Noreen Avenue, Minster-on-Sea, has been charged with burglary and will appear before Medway Magistrates Court later this week.

Delays To Swale's Waste And Recycling Collections

Delays To Swale's Waste And Recycling Collections

Swale Borough Council have confirmed that there may be delays to waste and recycling collections as more members of staff are having to self-isolate to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A spokesperson told SFM News that the council "have proactive plans in place for this type of occasion" and that additional staff were being brought in to help, but that there may still be an impact on collections and street cleansing over the next few weeks.

Cllr Tim Valentine, cabinet member for environment at the council, told SFM listeners: “Our contractors have clear processes in place to keep their staff safe, and if a crew member tests positive, those who work closely with them have to self-isolate to make sure there is no risk of further infection. With the high number of cases across the borough, we all need to make sure we are doing all we can to stop the spread of the virus. In this case, that may unfortunately mean some disruption to our collections, for which we apologise. If your waste or recycling is not collected on the day you expected, please leave it out and we will get to it as soon as we can including where needed on weekends.”

For information on the council’s work during the pandemic, visit www.swale.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Police Ask Residents "To Remember The COVID Rules"

Police Ask Residents "To Remember The COVID Rules"

Kent Police are urging people to remember the Covid-19 rules over the festive period and not arrange or attend parties that risk further infection.


With the county currently in Tier 3 and facing the highest level of coronavirus restrictions, officers are keen to ensure everyone continues to do the right thing to help control the virus and ultimately save lives.


Seven people, all from Canterbury, have been issued with £10,000 fines to date for hosting parties attended by far in excess of 30 people, and a number of other residents across Kent have also been fined for arranging smaller gatherings in breach of the existing legislation.


While Kent remains in Tier 3, no household mixing is allowed either indoors or outside, pubs and restaurants must remain closed except for deliveries and takeaways, and people are advised against travelling into other regions.


Exceptions will be allowed between 23rd and 27th December when everyone will be allowed to form one Christmas bubble of up to three households.


Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix told SFM News: "If 2020 were a normal year then many people’s diaries for December would be full of parties, Christmas drinks and other opportunities to meet up with family, friends and colleagues. Unfortunately it has been far from normal, and the threat of Covid-19 has not gone away. It therefore remains essential that we all continue to follow the rules to ensure we do not put ourselves or others at further risk of contracting a disease that has killed more than a million people worldwide. There will come a time when we will all be able to attend parties like we did before the pandemic struck, but that time is not now and Kent Police officers will not hesitate to take action against those who flagrantly break the rules and put other people’s lives at risk. We will continue to police in a sensible, proportionate and fair manner, and ask that everyone continues to take personal responsibility for controlling the spread of the virus and protecting themselves and others from harm."

Rotary And Swale Foodbank Christmas Appeal

Rotary And Swale Foodbank Christmas Appeal

The Rotary Club of Sitttingbourne Invicta are working with the Swale Foodbank to produce Christmas Gift Boxes for children in age groups from 3 – 11 in the Sittingbourne area who would otherwise have very little or nothing on Christmas Day.

Members and friends of Sittingbourne Invicta will be working hard to produce many Gift Boxes, but need help from the local community here in Sittingbourne.

If you would like to help by making a Christmas Gift Box, using a simple shoe box filled with a selection of inexpensive gifts, you can get all the details from Chris Bunting, by calling 07976 568 125 or tune in to 106.9 SFM for the latest information.


Charges Brought Following Sittingbourne Assault

Charges Brought Following Sittingbourne Assault

Officers investigating a serious assault in Sittingbourne last week, have charged two people.

Kent Police were called to Woodstock Road at 10.53pm on Thursday (26th November) after a woman reported that two people had seriously assaulted her partner and caused damage to her vehicle. The victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Officers from Swale’s Community Policing Team responded to the incident and stopped a vehicle in Borden Lane at around 11.00pm where two people were arrested on suspicion of assault.

Tommy Robinson, 21, of Playstool Road, Newington, has been charged with grievous bodily harm, criminal damage and dangerous driving and a 17-year-old boy has also been charged with grievous bodily harm and criminal damage.

The teenage boy and Mr Robinson both appeared before Medway Magistrates’ Court on Saturday (28th November) where they were bailed to attend Maidstone Crown Court on Monday 4th January 2021.


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