Local residents and councillors welcomed today’s news that Whitstable is to receive a new town constable following a six month campaign organised by Whitstable Labour Party. The campaign started in March 2019 with Councillor Chris Cornell writing to the Chief Inspector in Kent requesting the allocation of additional officers promised in the the uplift of council tax. In April an online petition was launched which now has in excess of 1400 signatures after being taken door to door during the May council election campaign.
In early September 2019 the three councillors met with Divisional Commander Nigel Brookes and Rosie Duffield MP to present the petition and again press the case for for extra officers (pictured above).
Responding to the news, Councillor Val Kenny said “whilst a new town constable is welcome, they are only one person . We look forward to having a uniformed presence with whom local residents and ourselves can speak to directly and someone who can further co-ordinate and build on the work of our excellent PCSO’s, however we will continue to push for more police resources wherever we can”.
Whilst it is not clear when the new officers will start, PC Brookes did give assurances in September that recruitment had started. Labour councillors will be seeking clarification on their deployment this week.
Reflecting back on the campaign, Councillor Chris Cornell said “it is fantastic news that Kent Police have listened to the concerns of local residents and the rising tide of crime in our area. A true example that people powered campaigns work.
Since we were elected we have been inundated with people concerned about this issue. Since 2010 we’ve seen over £51m cut from government police funding for Kent – these two things are obviously linked.
Next week we we have planned walk-arounds with Kent Police in response to specific cases on Westmeads Rec, Cornwallis Circle and by West Beach Tennis Courts, we hope to be able to press them for further information then”.