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Kent Police is taking part in a week-long national operation aiming to crack down on robbery. Officers will be targeting their activity in known hotspot areas, increasing visibility and operational activity, and arresting those intent on committing crime.
Operation Calibre launched on Saturday 10 December 2022 and will continue until Saturday 17 December 2022. The initiative will see forces countrywide focus on education, engagement, prevention, and enforcement and coincides with the build up to the festive period, when more shoppers are likely to be out.
Between December 2021 and December 2022, 1,240 robbery offences have been reported across Kent and the force has a dedicated team of officers specifically devoted to tackling robberies and burglaries, who will pursue serial offenders across the county, disrupt their activity, and bring them before the courts.
The Chief Constable’s Crime Squad was launched in February 2019 and investigations carried out by the team have led to offenders being jailed for a combined total of over 1,600 years. The team has also made 1,035 arrests and secured 2,994 charges.
In recent weeks, officers also secured a six-year prison sentence for a man who robbed victims in alleyways in Ashford.
Detective Chief Inspector Matt Talboys from the Chief Constable’s Crime Squad said:
‘Personal robbery has a devastating impact on victims, leaving them with trauma which can be lasting. We know criminals look for easy opportunities, often targeting some of the most vulnerable in society.
‘With more people out and about, Christmas shopping and socialising, now that Covid restrictions are relaxed, it is more important than ever that people take care. But if you do become the victim of a robbery it is important that it is reported straight away.
‘Victims and witnesses are at the heart of everything we do which is why we are sending a message to those who think it is ok to commit a robbery and inflict violence in our communities: we will not tolerate this. You will end up facing significant consequences and we will catch you.’
DCI Talboys added:
‘It is also important to remind people how they can protect themselves, anyone can become a victim of robbery so make sure you do all you can to protect yourself from becoming a victim.’
Keep yourself safe this festive period. You can reduce your risk of being a target of robbery if you:
Look confident, move with purpose, and remain aware of your surroundings;
Pre-plan your route and consider taking someone with you, especially if you’re going somewhere you haven’t been before;
Keep to busy, well-lit streets, walkways and paths which are more likely to be covered by CCTV;
Use licensed taxis or minicabs securely via telephone or a mobile phone app;
Keep your mobile phone and valuables out of sight. If you’re using your phone it’s more likely to be snatched from your hand as you’re not paying attention to your surroundings, so look around you;
Remember not to leave your mobile phone, any other device, wallet or purse on the table of an outdoor café, pub or restaurant. The same applies for any jewellery you might be wearing – keep it covered when walking down the street;
Don’t risk your personal safety, if threatened with violence. Property can be replaced, you can’t;
Report it straight away. If a crime is in progress call 999.