Local News

Three People Rescued From Flood Water In Faversham

Three People Rescued From Flood Water In Faversham

Kent Fire and Rescue Service were called to reports of three people stranded in flood water on North Lane in Faversham earlier today (Tuesday 4th January).

Three fire engines were sent to the scene at around 1:30pm and when crews arrived they were found stranded within two separate vehicles.

Firefighters wearing dry suits entered the water to rescue the occupants and lead them to safety.

The public are being advised to avoid any roads that are flooded, and to take extra care by following a few simple steps:

• Avoid driving or walking through flood water – it’s often deeper than it looks

• Don't ignore signs about road closures due to flooding

• Consider your safety at all times and don’t take unnecessary risks on the roads

• In the event of flooding, please only call 999 if there is a risk to life, you need rescuing, or if your property is flooding

Fire Sweeps Through Bredgar Bungalow

Fire Sweeps Through Bredgar Bungalow

Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) were called to reports of a fire at a bungalow in Swanton Street, in Bredgar, yesterday (Saturday 1st January) afternoon.

Seven fire engines attended, shortly after 3:30pm, along with a bulk water carrier and a height vehicle. 

Crews wore breathing apparatus while using hose reel jets and fog spikes to extinguish the fire, which is believed to have started in the roof space of the property. 

No injuries were reported, however two adults suffered symptoms of suspected shock. 

The cause of the fire is not yet known but is believed to be accidental. 

Police Appeal Following Sheerness Disturbance

Police Appeal Following Sheerness Disturbance

Investigators are appealing for witnesses to a disturbance on Christmas Day (Saturday 25th December) in Sheerness.

The incident happened in a car park near Trinity Road. At around 6.50am, it is alleged several people were involved in an altercation during which damage was caused to two cars.

Kent Police patrols attended the scene where those involved had left prior to their arrival. Following enquiries, a car was stopped by officers at junction 5 of the M2, at around 9.10am.

Five men in the vehicle were arrested on suspicion of affray. A sixth man located near the scene of the disturbance was detained in connection with the supply of controlled drugs.

PC Josh Davidson, of Sittingbourne CID, told SFM News: ‘We believe there were several members of the public in the area at the time of the disturbance and are appealing to any witnesses to contact our appeal line. Motorists with any dashcam or any residents who have private CCTV are also asked to check for footage that may assist our investigation."

Anyone with information should call Kent Police on 01795 419119, quoting crime reference 46/264885/21 or, alternatively, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, FREE and anonymously, on 0800 555111 or by using the anonymous form on their website: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/forms/give-information-ano... .

All six arrested men were later bailed to return to the police station on Friday 21st January 2022.

£3M Set Aside For Local Schools Boost

£3M Set Aside For Local Schools Boost

Kent County Council (KCC) have confirmed that they are planning to allocate £3 million to "temporarily" enlarge three secondary schools in Sittingbourne, to accomodate extra pupils, from next September (2022) and the following year.

KCC say they have identified the need for extra secondary places schools at Westlands, The Sittingbourne School and Fulston Manor because new housing developments are boosting the borough of Swale's population, saying there is a need for "swift action" as they forsee" a shortfall" of 176 spaces for Year 7 starters in September 2023.

In a Press Release the KCC also confirmed that: "There is a need to secure a permanent solution to the secondary place pressures from September 2024 onwards and options are being investigated."

It's believed that there will be an additional 30 Year 7 places at Westlands, another 30 at The Sittingbourne School and 15 at Fulston Manor.

The KCC also recognised that there is additional pressure on the Sittingbourne non-selective schools coming from the Isle Of Sheppey parents who opt to send their children off the Island instead of to the Oasis Academy in Minster-On-Sea.

Arrests Following Attempted Theft Of Cabling

Arrests Following Attempted Theft Of Cabling

Two men are in custody having been arrested on suspicion of attempting to steal cabling.

At around 2.35am yesterdat (Thursday 23rd December) Kent Police were notified that an alarm at an industrial site in Water Lane, Faversham, had been activated.

As a Kent Police patrol travelled towards the scene, they noticed a van being driven in the general vicinity. The van was travelling in the opposite direction and is reported to have accelerated when the constables turned their patrol car around.

It stopped when it was requested to do so in London Road at around 2.50am and a search of the vehicle led to officers locating heavy duty tools and hydraulic cutting equipment. While these searches were taking place, the attending officers also received notification that damage had been caused to cabling at a nearby industrial site.

Two men, aged 27 and 46, were subsequently arrested on suspicion of attempted theft, going equipped for theft and criminal damage.

They remain in custody as enquiries continue.

Officers Charge Man Following Child Assault

Officers Charge Man Following Child Assault

Charges have been authorised against a man by officers investigating an incident involving a child in Sittingbourne.

Harry Morris, aged 24 and of Peregrine Drive, has been charged with child abduction and sexually assaulting a child under 13 years old.

Mr Morris was charged following an allegation that a man approached a girl in an alleyway off Rectory Road at around 8.15am on Wednesday 8th December.

After a short verbal exchange, the suspect is said to have briefly grabbed her before running from the area. The girl was uninjured.

As part of the investigation CCTV images were released as part of a witness appeal and were featured on the SFM News pages.

Following this Mr Morris was arrested on Thursday 16th December and charged with the offences earlier today (Saturday 18th December).

He is due to appear before Medway Magistrates’ Court on Monday (20th December).

As part of the investigation officers previously arrested a 36-year-old man in connection with the incident. He has been bailed until Tuesday 4th January 2022.

Witnesses Sought To Robbery And Collision

Witnesses Sought To Robbery And Collision

Officers are appealing for information after a man was charged over a robbery and collision in Sittingbourne.

At around 4.50pm last Saturday (11th December), a man was reportedly robbed of his car in London Road before it was involved in a two-vehicle collision.

No serious injuries were reported in the first collision, following which another attempted robbery was reported of another car nearby.

John Brazil has since been charged with robbery, attempted robbery, two counts of assaulting an emergency worker and dangerous driving in relation to the incident.

The 32-year-old, of The Street, Ickham, Canterbury, appeared before Medway Magistrates’ Court on Monday (13th December) and was remanded in custody to appear at Maidstone Crown Court on Monday 10th January 2022.

A 45-year-old man Sittingbourne was also arrested following the incident and he has been released on bail, pending further enquiries, until Thursday 6th January 2022.

An investigation is ongoing, and officers believe there were witnesses to the incident who have not yet spoken to police.

Anyone who saw the incident, or who has mobile phone or dashcam footage which may assist, is asked to call Kent Police on 01795 419119 quoting 46/255503/21. Or, alternatively,  they can call the independent charity Crimestoppers FREE and anonymously on 0800 555 111 or complete the online form on their website: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/forms/give-information-ano... .

Town Centre Regeneration Approved By Councillors

Town Centre Regeneration Approved By Councillors

Councillors have approved plans to revitalise Sittingbourne town centre.

A supplementary planning document was discussed at last night’s virtual Local Plan Panel meeting on Wednesday (15th December) evening and was approved to move to the next step which is public consultation.

Following consultation, the document will then become part of the current local plan and will shape how the council considers new development proposals.

Cllr Mike Baldock, cabinet member for planning at the council, told SFM News: “All town centres face severe challenges. Changes in shopping habits and covid restrictions have affected local businesses. However, Sittingbourne has been shown to be a particularly resilient town centre, and we have also seen positive changes since the leisure complex opened. We now want to build on that success and have delivered a visionary plan to really take Sittingbourne forward".

It's belived that Swale Borough Council want to develop a leisure quarter, a historic quarter and a community hub, and create more tree lined roads and avenues and improve green spaces. We’ll be creating better links between the town centre Albany Park, Sittingbourne cemetery, Eurolink and Milton Creek Country Park and introducing more town centre living and making better use of brownfield locations within the town centre.

The new supplementary planning document will sit alongside Swale Borough Council's current local plan and sets out what they’re looking for in planning applications from land owners and developers. It also outlines what the council will be doing to make improvements to the town centre.

Cllr Baldock to SFM News: “We’ll be painting street furniture, updating finger signs and planting trees and shrubs along St Michaels Road as we improve pedestrian and cycling routes. We’ll also be looking to create a bus hub and promote better connectivity to the town by rail, bus, cycle and foot, from Eurolink, Milton Creek Country Park and the southern residential district to increase footfall and add to the liveliness of the town centre. While we’ll be focusing on big improvements, protecting the rich heritage of the town centre will be at the heart of any future development.”

 

CCTV Appeal Following Sittingbourne Assault

Images of a man who may have important information on an incident in Sittingbourne have been released by Kent Police.

Detectives are investigating an allegation a man approached a girl in an alleyway off Rectory Road at around 8.15am on Wednesday (8th December) evening.

Following a short verbal exchange, he is said to have briefly grabbed her before running from the area when he was challenged. The girl was uninjured.

Since receiving the report, officers have arrested a 36-year-old man in connection with the incident. He has since been bailed until Tuesday 4th January (2022) while officers carry out enquiries.

As part of the ongoing investigation officers are releasing an image of a man who they think is likely to have information which can further assist with enquiries.

Investigating officer Detective Inspector Scott Relf told SFM News: "We understand the concerns members of the community may have when they hear of this incident, but please be assured that we have robust measures in place for when incidents of this nature are reported to us. This is shown by the quick action we have taken to ensure the safety of the girl involved and also detain a suspect. Our enquiries are continuing at pace and as part of these we are releasing these images. While we know the images are grainy, we believe that those who personally know the man would be able to recognise him. I would encourage anyone with information on his identity to contact us, as we believe he will have important information which can help with our investigation."

Anyone with any information is asked to call Kent Police on 01634 792209, quoting reference 46/252881/21 or, alternatively, they can call the independent charity Crimestoppers FREE and anonymously on 0800 555 111 or complete the online form on their website: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/forms/give-information-ano... .

 

Arrest Made Following Report Of Rape

Arrest Made Following Report Of Rape

A suspect has been arrested in connection with a reported a rape in Sittingbourne.

It is alleged that during the early hours of yesterday (Saturday 11th December), a woman was raped by a man she had earlier encountered on a night out. The offence is said to have happened in a woodland location between Harrier Drive and Osprey Court in the Fallowfield area.

At around 7:00pm last night (11th December) detectives arrested a 21-year-old man from Sittingbourne on suspicion of rape and he was taken into custody.

Enquiries are ongoing and police have seized CCTV and cordoned off the area to allow for forensic examination of the scene.

Anyone who may have any information is asked to call Kent Police on 01795 419119 quoting 11-0137 or, alternatively, they can contact Kent Crimestoppers, FREE and anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or by using the online form on their website: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/forms/give-information-ano....

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