Local News

Murder Appeal Following Attack In Warden

Murder Appeal Following Attack In Warden

Kent Police are appealing for witnesses following the discovery of a man's body, by a dog walker, at 6.00am yesterday morning (Wednesday 7th August), on the Isle of Sheppey.

Officers were called to Warden Bay Road, in Leysdown, to a private beach between the Little Groves caravan site and Isle of Sheppey Holiday Village. 

The death is being treated as suspicious and a murder investigation was launched by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate yesterday (Wednesday 7th August)

Detectives have revealed that the victim, who is believed to be in his 30's or 40's  had been "savagely beaten" and left naked from the waist down. He was described as being white, bald, around 5ft 6ins tall and was wearing a ring on his wedding finger. It is not known whether the man is local or a holiday-maker and police say the cause of death is "yet to be determined" as a post mortem has not  yet been undertaken.

Detective Chief Inspector Jon Clayden, leading the investigation, told SFM News: "We would like to speak to anyone who may have seen or heard anything on or near this stretch of beach between 8pm on Tuesday night and 6am on Wednesday morning. They can come and speak to our officers, who will be based at Warden Bay Village Hall, or they can call us 101 (quoting CAD 07-0167) or they can call Kent Crimestoppers free (from any landline) and anonymously on 0800 555 111".

Appeal After Serious Collision On The M2

Appeal After Serious Collision On The M2

Officers are appealing for information following a serious collision on the M2 earlier today (Friday 2nd August).

Kent Police were called just after 6.00am to a report of a two vehicle collision on the coast-bound carriageway of the M2 between junction 6 for Faversham and junction 7 at Brenley Corner.

The incident involved a white Renault lorry and a black Ford Transit.

On driver had to be cut free from his vehicle by the Kent Fire & Rescue Service was taken to the Royal London Hospital via the Kent Air ambulance with injuries described as serious. The other driver was taken to the William Harvey Hospital, in Ashford, with injuries described as minor.

The coast-bound carriageway of the M2 was closed for around six hours whilst the vehicles were recovered and for debris and fuel to be cleared from the carriageway. 

Witnesses to the collision, or anyone who may have seen the vehicles prior to the collision, is asked to contact the Kent Police Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 01622 798538, or alternatively they can contact Kent CrimeStoppers free (from any landline) and anonimously on 0800 555 111.

Local Bus Drivers In National Annual Awards

Local Bus Drivers In National Annual Awards

Two bus drivers from Sheerness took the top places in the regional final of the Bus Driver of the Year competition, at North Weald Airfield in Essex, on Sunday 28th July.

They were part of a ten-strong contingent from Arriva's Southern Counties region that took part in a series of manoeuvring and theory tests designed to find the best three drivers to represent the company at the national finals of the competition to be held in Blackpool in early September.

Top marks were awarded to Philip Kennedy from Sheerness who also won £1,000, closely followed by his colleague Daniel Purchase with a £500 prize. 

Arriva's Regional Publicity Manager, Richard Lewis, told SFM News "the competition is an opportunity for our drivers to display their driving skills to friends, families and members of the public in a prestigious competition that has been supported by the bus industry for many years. We would like to thank our other contestants for taking part and hope that our local winners will do well at the national final in September."


E-Fit Appeal Following Robbery In Lynsted

E-Fit Appeal Following Robbery In Lynsted

Kent Police officers at Sittingbourne have just released an image of a man they would like to speak to in connection with the robbery of a 93-year-old woman in Lynsted.

They are investigating a reported robbery in Cellar Hill that took place between 1.55pm and 2.07pm on Tuesday 16th July. The victim was sitting in her living room when a man walked through her kitchen door and told her he was there to collect money for the window cleaning. Knowing he was not her window cleaner, the lady stood up from her chair. The offender then pushed her back down and forcibly held her in place before stealing her black purse out of her knitting bag. The purse contained bank cards and £300 in cash. He then ran out of the front door.

The offender is described as white, with dark short hair and a longish face. He was clean-shaven and is estimated to have been in his late 20s.

Detectives have now released the image (above) of a man they believe would be able to help them with their enquiries.

Senior investigating officer, DCI Ann Lisseman, told SFM News: "While the victim suffered no injuries, we are classing this as robbery because the offender used force to restrain his vulnerable victim.
Someone out there must recognise this man and I'd ask you to call into us as soon as possible. Targeting an elderly lady and stealing her belongings is a despicable thing to do and we are following up every possible line of enquiry to find the offender and bring him to justice. Despite her ordeal, the victim has shown remarkable courage and fortitude in helping us compile an e-fit, and I'd like to commend her for her bravery."

Anybody with information is asked to call 01795 419230, quoting crime reference XY/021845/13 or, alternatively, they can call Kent Crimestoppers free (from any landline) and anonymously on 0800 555 111.


Swale's June Jobless Total Down

Swale's June Jobless Total Down

Unemployment across Kent and Medway tumbled by 1,556 people last month (June 2013) according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics released earlier today.

Locally the claimant count dropped 135 to 3,014 and every Kent district saw a fall in the number of jobless.

Nationally, for the three months to February, the Unemplyment figure stands a 2.51million, down 57,000 with a total unemployment rate of 7.8%.

"Special Measures" At Medway Hospital Trust

"Special Measures" At Medway Hospital Trust

The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has announced in Parliament today that the Medway NHS Foundation Trust has been placed in special measures following "fundamental breaches of care".

Medway is one of eleven out of the fourteen trusts that have been put under further investigation by NHS Medical Director Sir Bruce Keogh. Mr Hunt announced that the standard of care at the trust, which runs the Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham, were put under the spotlight following the recent inquiry into care at the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust. An investigation of the mortality rates at Medway revealed that the hospital had 1,745 deaths in a year (210/2011) - 238 more than expected.

The Medway NHS Foundation Trust came in the bottom 12 of all 145 English hospital trusts for the end of last year and the recent investigation uncovered "more worrying findings".

Referring specifically to Medway, Mr Hunt told the Commons "A public consultation heard stories of poor communication with patients, poor management of deteriorating patients, inappropriate referrals and medical interventions, delayed discharges and long A&E waiting times."

Under the special measures introduced the trust will have to implement recommendations from the Keogh Review. This will include regular visits from external teams; health care regulators will assess the quality of leadership at the hospital/s and the removal of any senior managers unable to lead the improvements required; and the hospital/s will be partnered with high-performing NHS organisations from other area.


Appeal After A249 Bobbing Collision

Appeal After A249 Bobbing Collision

Kent Police are appealing for witnesses following a collision on the A249 yesterday (Monday 15th July).

At about 11.45am a white Mercedes Axor HGV was involved in a collision with a stationary marked police vehicle on the Maidstone-bound carriageway, near Bobbing.

Police were responding to a report that a blue Citroen Picasso had broken down and was partially blocking the live lane. The HGV, which was carrying gas cylinders, then collided with the central reservation and landed on its side. A number of the gas cylinders fell from the vehicle and Kent Fire and Rescue Service attended.

Both carriageways of the A249 between the Stockbury roundabout and A2 Key Street were closed. At about 2.35pm lane 1 of 2 on the northbound carriageway was opened. Both carriageways were fully re-opened by 7.40pm.

The driver of the lorry, believed to be aged in his 30s and from the London area, was taken to Medway Maritime Hospital and was released later the same day with minor injuries. The officer attending the reported broken down vehicle and the driver of the broken down vehicle were uninjured.

Anyone who may have witnessed the accident, or may have further information, is asked to contact PC Glen Braidwood, at the Kent Police Serious Collision Investigation Unit, on 01622 798538 or they can call Kent Crimestoppers free (from any landline) and anonimously on 0800 555 111.

Two Charged With Rape In Sittingbourne

Two Charged With Rape In Sittingbourne

Two men have been charged in connection with a rape in Sittingbourne in the early hours of Sunday (14th July) morning.

Kent Police have confirmed that they were called at just before 3.40am on Sunday to reports of a rape of a 36-year-old local woman in Dover Street.

Maksim Volkon, aged 32 and of Merleburgh Drive and Vitalijs Alehovics, aged 26, of Periwinkle Close, both in Sittingbourne, have been jointly charged with rape.

They appeared before Maidstone Crown Court yesterday and were remanded in custody.

The pair are due to appear before the court again on Friday 2nd August.

Police Appeal After Distraction Burglary In Lynsted

Police Appeal After Distraction Burglary In Lynsted

Kent Police have released a computer generated image of a man they would like to speak to in connection with a distraction burglary in Sittingbourne.

Detectives are investigating the incident which is believed to have taken place between 3.40pm and 4pm on Wednesday 3rd July, in Cellar Hill, Lynsted.

The resident, an elderly woman, answered a knock on the door to find a man holding a clipboard and claiming to be a police officer, who said he was there to speak to her about a previous incident at her home. It is understood the man flashed a card at her but did not give her chance to inspect it properly. On the grounds of having an update to the incident, the man persuaded the victim to follow him into her front room, where it is believed he closed the door, blocking her view of the entrance to the house.

Suspicious, the victim asked the man to leave and challenged his identity. The suspect said he would get his identity card from his car and left. The victim then saw him driving off towards the A2 in a blue saloon car. Later, she noticed someone had searched the upstairs of her house and stolen a substantial quantity of cash from her bedroom.

Detectives have now released an e-fit image of a man they believe could help with their enquiries (above). The suspect has been described as a white man with thinning fair hair and stubble. He is believed to be around 5ft 9ins tall and of medium build.

Senior investigating officer, DCI Ann Lisseman of Kent Police, told SFM News: 'We believe this victim may have been specifically targeted and we are working closely with her on our lines of enquiry.
This was a particularly unpleasant incident that has left a vulnerable lady very shaken up and upset. Never let anyone into your house that you don't know or aren't expecting. Genuine visitors will be more than happy to provide identification and remain outside while you verify it with their company and the police. A police officer will never come to your door and refuse to provide identification straight away, so please ask for it whenever you are unsure. No Kent Police officer will mind waiting outside while you verify who they are - look at their ID cards closely and if you are still unhappy, close the door and call us on 101 to confirm their identity. If you have any doubts at all, don't let them in. Ask them to come back another time or to arrange an appointment at a convenient time for you, when you can have a friend or neighbour present."

Anybody with any information on this incident is asked to call DC Richard Allingham on 01795 419230, quoting crime reference XY/020346/13. Alternatively they can contact Kent Crimestoppers free (from any landline) and anonimously on 0800 555 111.

Major Fire At Recycling Plant

Major Fire At Recycling Plant

Kent Fire & Rescue Service (KFRS) have been tackling a huge blaze at the Sweeep Kuusakoski building on Gas Road in Milton Regis.

It is believed that the fire broke out just after 8.00am this morning and 10 fire engines were sent to the scene. Two men, in their 20's and workers at the plant, suffered smoke inhalation and were taken to hospital. Local residents in the Milton Regis area were advised to keep their windows and doors shut as a precaution and a large exclusion zone was set up around the scene with the B2005 Mill Way being closed.

An investigation in to the cause of the fire will be instigated by the KFRS later today.


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