Maidstone Task Force assisting the community since October launch
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The Maidstone Task Force has been actively working to keep the community safe in the Shepway area since its launch.
The multi-agency team was established on 16 October 2020 and comprises officers and staff from Kent Police, Maidstone Borough Council and Kent County Council wardens. It also includes partners such as housing associations, probation services and the Department of Work and Pensions.
Since this date, they have completed a range of activities including high-visibility patrols, search warrants for controlled drugs and the targeting of fly-tippers.
The team also supported Operation Sceptre, the nationwide knife-crime week of action, by stopping and searching suspects and also giving advice to young people about the dangers of carrying weapons.
The Maidstone Task Force has also engaged with shopkeepers and businesses to enhance awareness of the signs of domestic abuse and child exploitation, and how to report it.
A total of 20 people have been arrested for crimes ranging from drug dealing, handling stolen property, knife possession and domestic abuse. Officers have brought 23 charges and seized cash suspected to be the profits of drug dealing.
District Commander for Maidstone, Chief Inspector Steve Kent said: ‘By regularly engaging with residents, schools and businesses, the team has the ability to identify the current issues of concern to the community, including crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour.
‘The team can then work to resolve the issues and, through partnership working, provide shared solutions to shared problems. This includes bringing offenders to justice, reporting suspects for offences, offering advice and guidance, and reassuring the wider community.
‘The task force has received excellent feedback from local residents who have not hesitated to stop and speak to them and raise concerns or offer information.’