On Monday 13 June, Canterbury BID organised a meeting for traders with Kent Police.
CI Mark Weller, District Commander for Canterbury and Dover, gave an overview of policing priorities and we were very pleased to hear that he anticipates the city centre policing team will become an established part of the policing structure, and that we can expect to see an uplift in that team, which we know will make a huge difference.
CI Jason Wenlock, the Kent specials and volunteers lead, gave us a presentation on employer-supported policing options, including Special constables. This could be a bespoke arrangement for Canterbury if there are enough businesses interested. We fully appreciate this isn’t the only option, but there could be a bespoke arrangement for Canterbury. Special Police Constables have the same full range of powers that a regular PC has on and off duty.
Some of the key points from Jason’s presentation:
- Kent Police cover the costs of training and travel expenses, and uniform for Special Constables.
- Cost to businesses – nothing, apart from the time of one member of staff (we fully appreciate this isn’t always straightforward!)
- Once trained, your member of staff will perform their Special Constable role for 6-8 hours per week and can be assigned to work just for you. This means you get a uniformed officer on your premises and they can’t be called out elsewhere.
- Training period – one weekend plus additional modules. Initial training could be completed in 6 months at which point your trainee Special will be allocated a fully trained Police Constable to supervise them for addition training (which will give an additional police presence in the city centre).
- Specials have the same full range of powers that a regular officer has on and off duty, ie they have the ability the make arrests, stop and search and issue fixed penalty notices for offences such as shoplifting.
- A joined-up effort from participating business could ensure the city has a back-to-back Special Police presence, presenting a strong deterrent to city centre crime, as a compliment (not replacement) for regular Kent Police presence.
- How to find out more or sign up: Kent Police Employer Supported Policing
Who Ya Gonna Call?
The BID’s has a list of key contacts for issues that can arise, from graffiti removal to antisocial behaviour on our “Who Ya Gonna Call” page. Here are a few quick links:
- Concerned about a rough sleeper – use StreetLink or call 0300 500 0914. This goes directly to Canterbury City Council’s Community Safety Unit and the local support workers at Porchlight and Catching Lives.
- Canterbury City Council’s Graffiti Removal Reporting Tool: free twice a year for the first two hours or 5 square metres. The BID will be able to allocate dedicated funds to graffiti removal in a second BID term which would start in October 2019 subject to a successful ballot in June and July this year. In the meantime, please contact us if you need help with graffiti removal – the BID Ambassadors have access to individually-wrapped graffiti removal wipes which are particularly for recent tags on lamp posts, doorways, signs and hoardings across the city.
- Reporting a non-emergency to Kent Police: 101 or the Kent Police Online Reporting Tool