Local News

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.

Man Appears In Court For Leysdown Armed Robbery

Man Appears In Court For Leysdown Armed Robbery

A man has appeared in court after being charged by detectives investigating an armed robbery at the weekend on the Isle Of Sheppey.

25-year-old Gary Donald Grannells, of Notting Hill in London, appeared at Maidstone Magistrates' Court, on Thursday 4th July, accused of robbery at Mr G's Amusement Arcade on The Promenade, Leysdown at 12.15pm on Saturday (29th June) .

Grannells was charged with robbery and two counts of assaulting a police officer and was remanded in custody until Friday 19th July.

Investigations by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate into the robbery continue. It is believed that around £3,000 was stolen in the raid.

Anybody with any information, or who may of witnessed the incident, is asked to call 01634 792492, quoting crime reference XY/19866/13. Alternatively, they can call free (from any landline), and anonymously, Kent Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Consultation On Children's Centre Closure

KCC Consultation On Children's Centre Closure

Kent County Council (KCC) are planning to change the way they deliver Children's Centre services throughout the county and have begun a consultation on the possible closure of the Woodgrove Children's Centre on Johnson Road here in Sittingbourne

A Press Release from the KCC states that "in the current economic climate efficiency savings must be made, so it is vital that the council sets out a new model for its Children's Centres which is sustainable for the long-term future". 

The Council says that it has identified 16 lead centres which are bigger buildings in communities where more families need early support services. They are proposing that "in future these will become 'Children's Centre Plus' and will co-ordinate services across smaller, linked centres in the area. This will mean that they will work more closely with local GPs, schools, health visitors, child minders, nurseries, social services, health specialists, Job Centre Plus and the voluntary sector to offer better access to vital services".

The Council believe at this new model will allow for them "to focus spending on services to children, while reducing costs for buildings, management, and other overheads. It will deliver savings of at least £1.5m while maintaining wide coverage across the county and continued access to a nearby service for those who need it most".

KCC has launched a 12-week consultation from today (Thursday 3rd July) to get the views of local parents and carers and the wider community who use the centres now or will use them in the future.

Jenny Whittle, KCC cabinet member for specialist children's services, told SFM News that "KCC is committed to continuing to provide the services we currently offer through our Children's Centres and continuing to make a difference to the futures of families we help through those centres. We need to make efficiency savings and will seek to do this by minimising property and management costs. We are committed to seeking the views of those families for whom Children's Centres provide important services. We will be conducting a full public consultation over the summer to gather views on our proposals. We recognise how important these services are to many families and we are looking at new and different ways to deliver them to the people who need them most. This includes working together with clinical commissioning groups to host services for families and working with the expanded Kent health visitor workforce to support first time families and vulnerable parents and children in our communities."

Children's Centres provide early childhood services such as nursery provision, social services, health services, training and employment services for parents and prospective parents and information and advice. The Council believes that "parents will still be able to use services at another Children's Centre or community venue, such as a library or GP surgery. If the proposal is implemented in full, accessibility to a Children's Centre will remain the same for more than 99% of families. Services which improve health, education and social care outcomes for children and families will be protected and focussed on the needs of the local population. Earlier support will also be targeted towards the families that need it".

To find out more about the proposals and take part in the consultation, visit www.kent.gov.uk/childrenscentres. The consultation runs from 4th July - 4th October 2013.


Appeal For Absconded Sheppey Prisoner

Appeal For Absconded Sheppey Prisoner

Kent Police are appealing for help from members of the public to help locate a man who absconded from prison on the Isle of Sheppey.

Last year thirty-six-year-old Martin Jones absconded from HMP Standford Hill - a category D open prison for prisoners including those at the end of their sentence. Following his disappearance on Monday 9th  July 2012 Jones, who was serving a sentence for burglary, remains unlawfully at large. He is described as 5ft 6ins tall, of medium build and has blue eyes. He has dark brown hair which is receding and possibly shaven.

He has connections with the Dover area and is also known to frequent the Leysdown, Iwade and Sittingbourne areas of Swale.

Members of the public are advised not to approach him.

If you have information on his whereabouts you are asked to call DS Chris Dovey on 01634 792227, or alternatively you can call Kent Crimestoppers free (from any landline) and anonymously on 0800 555 111.

UKP Music Festival Rocks The Bourne

UKP Music Festival Rocks The Bourne

This year's UKP Leisure Music Festival, sponsored by 106.9 SFM, was the biggest and best ever with a fantastic day of weather and live bands.

106.9 SFM's Kevin Field was LIVE from Midday at the event, soaking up the ocassion with interviews backstage and with the events organisers. Headlining this year were Jam Sandwich, Skadecat and Ben Mill's band Benzego along with Bye George (Matt Endesby).

Cllr Sue Gent, the Mayor of Swale, officially opened the show at 15:00hrs live on 106.9 SFM.

This year saw the biggest attendence in the six years of the event - so a BIG thank you to everyone that came along and enjoyed the day from all of us at the Towers!

Appeal After Suspicious Fire In Sheerness

Appeal After Suspicious Fire In Sheerness

Officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate have launched an appeal for information following a suspicious fire which has left two people with life threatening injuries.

Police were called to the blaze at a block of flats in Richmond Street, Sheerness at 3.25pm on Monday (24th June). It had been reported that two people had jumped from the top of the storey of the building. Three other people escaped the fire and a man was rescued by firefighters using a ladder. At the back of the building members of the public saved a woman and two children with a ladder.
Three people, two men and a woman were taken by air ambulance to hospital. A man and woman have sustained life threatening injuries. The third man was treated for smoke inhalation and has been discharged.

The incident is being investigated by Detective Inspector Lee Whitehead who told SFM News "we remain in consultation with Kent Fire and Rescue Service and other specialists. At this stage we believe this fire may have been stated deliberately. I am keen to hear from anyone who may have seen anything suspicious, such as someone outside the front of the property, before the fire broke out. I would also ask anyone living nearby who has experienced a fire recently that they may not have reported to come forward. Currently we are treating this as arson and a man and a woman remain in a life-threatening condition in hospital. Their injuries are severe and I would welcome information from the public that will help us uncover exactly what has happened. Regardless of how insignificant people may feel their information would be I urge them to get in contact with police as soon as possible."

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Kent Police on 101 or they can alternatively contact Kent CrimeStoppers free (from any landline) and anonimously on 0800 555111.

E-Fit Released Following Sexual Assault

E-Fit Released Following Sexual Assalt

Police have released a computerised image of a man they are keen to speak with in relation to a sexual assault in the Sittingbourne area.

The incident occurred in Meeres Court Lane on the Great East Hall Estate at around 6.15pm on Friday 14th June, when a 42-year-old woman was walking her dog and noticed a man walking past her. It is then reported that as she walked a little furthershe was pushed to the ground and sexually assaulted.

The suspect is described as being white, 45 to 55-years-old and around 6ft tall. He was of medium build, had ‘a big belly' and mousey brown hair which was receding. He had a musty odour and a black thumb nail. He wore a white short sleeved T-shirt, blue tracksuit bottoms with a stripe.

Detective Sergeant Darryll Paulson, who is investigating the incident, told SFM News "we are keen to hear from anyone who may be able to identify the man in the image, as we would like to interview him in connection with this incident. I would appeal to local people in the area to use their social media accounts to retweet and share the Kent Police appeal which is on our website and has appeared on the forces social networking sites as well".

If you can help police identify the man in the e-fit, or have any information about this crime, you can contact Kent Police directly on 01634 792210. Alternatively you can also contact Kent Crimstoppers, free (from any landline) and anonimously on 0800 555 111.

Sittingbourne Celebrates Carnival In Style

Sittingbourne Celebrates Carnival In Style

Despite strong winds, and a forecast of rain that didn't materialise, a great time was had by all at this year's Sittingbourne Carnival on Saturday (22nd June).

The 106.9 SFM Roadshow (in association with Green Cabs) was on hand to entertain the crowds in the High Street from 10am and live acts appearing included local bands Motto, Standing Ovation, Complicated, Stage 3 and the Inca band along with performances from flautist Jenny Cazelly and Sammies Dance.

The event was a culmination of several local groups all working together, The Sittingbourne Carnival Court, The Sittingbourne Retail Association and 106.9 SFM (Sittingbourne Community Radio). The whole event was live on 106.9 SFM from 10am until 5pm, with presenters Kevin Field, Joshua Coupe and Roy Lambert all doing their programmes live from the High Street in the Roadshow van (pictured).

Pam Griggs, Chairperson of the Sittingbourne Carnival Court told SFM News that the total collected on the day was £431, which was up on last year and roughly matched 2011's figure, however larger amounts had been raised in years previous to 2011. She went on to add "the feedback we've had is very positive and lots of regular visiting court members have said that they thought that there were significantly more people out supporting the event this year".

There were 32 entries this year up 50% on last year's total of 23.

Pictured is the circus entertainer from the Forum Shopping Centre, who entertained the crowds in the centre and on the high street entrance throughout the day. Francesca Donovan, Centre Manager at The Forum Shopping Centre, told SFM News that "there was a great atmosphere at the centre on Saturday and we were really pleased to be able to support the community and local events. This was a great way to be part of the Sittingbourne Carnival and bring it to The Forum and I hope all of our shoppers enjoyed the day's activities."

For more pictures of the day please visit:- http://www.facebook.com/SittingbourneRetailAssociation or http://www.facebook.com/106.9SFM.



Subscribe to Latest 106.9 SFM Local News

100% Local Radio for Sittingbourne