By the end of the year, there will be 450 more Police Officers in Kent than when I was elected in 2016. All 300 PCSO posts have been retained and 101 performance has improved. All of this means that Kent Police’s ability to work with local communities and solve problems has got even better, including with Sevenoaks’ brilliant Conservative council.
Alcohol-related issues can have a wide impact on society. Whether it is helping people with addiction or tackling antisocial behaviour, premises, councils and the Police are working better to keep our communities safe.
Prevention is important. I fund drug and alcohol teams to work with schools to highlight the dangers of substance misuse. I’m working with homeless charities to help people access support who wouldn’t otherwise get it, and seeing success with many giving up drugs and alcohol and finding both homes and employment.
My £1m Violence Reduction Fund will soon open to allow bids to help prevent crime in partnership with charities, communities, councils and Police - which could include alcohol-related issues. And I’ve been working with students, the Police and councils to address the serious issue of sexual harassment in the night time economy.
Enforcement is key too. Kent Police is the only Force in the country deemed “outstanding” for how it keeps people safe by the independent inspectors of Policing. As part of the increase in Police numbers, there will be an even greater focus on town centre policing and proactive neighbourhood policing. PCSO powers have been extended by the Chief Constable so they will now be able to take action against those selling alcohol to children.
Kent is a safe place to live, work and visit. The action I am taking, alongside the Police, will help make us even safer and help people live healthier lives.