‘Problem Solving Task Force’ launched by Kent Police cracks down on Ramsgate issues

The task force was officially launched today

A new task force launched by Kent Police has tackled antisocial behaviour and graffiti in Ramsgate and cracked down on County Lines drug operations in Ashford.

The dedicated Problem Solving Task Force is made up of Kent Police Community Support Officers.

The countywide team consists of highly motivated experts who are specially trained to resolve long-term problems and will work with partners to prevent crime, disrupt offenders and put a stop to the most harmful anti-social behaviour.

Its concentrated response has already helped bring an end to a county line drugs network that was operating in Ashford and significantly reduced antisocial behaviour which was being caused by a small group of people in Ramsgate.

An incident in Queen Street involving youths last January

The task force will provide cover across Kent but is led by a central policing department which has close ties with a wide range of partner agencies, including community groups, other emergency services and all levels of local government.

On top of providing increased visibility on the streets, targeting people who cause issues and building relationships with communities, the team will also have the capacity to support other operational priorities. The priorities include identifying children at risk of harm and offenders involved in organised, and violent, crime.

Although the task force is now fully operational, it first went live in the east of the county in October 2020. A month later, it launched in west Kent.

As a result of the team’s work, and the joined-up work with partners, numerous results have already been achieved, including:

  • Assisting in warrant activity which led to the removal of a county line in Ashford.
  • Issuing community protection warnings to numerous young people involved in antisocial behaviour in Ramsgate. Since these warnings were issued, these individuals have not been involved in further incidents.
  • Arranging the removal of large amounts of graffiti from locations in Winterstoke Gardens and Victoria Parade, Ramsgate.
  • Arranging the removal of fly tipped rubbish in Tankerton.
  • Seizing alcohol from a gathering of young people in Sevenoaks.
Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott and Chief Constable of Kent Alan Pughsley

The task force was officially launched by the Chief Constable of Kent, Alan Pughsley, today (February 3). Funding for the new resource was made available following a successful bid by the Kent Police and Crime commissioner to increase the council tax precept last year.

Chief Constable Pughsley said: “My officers already do a fantastic job protecting the county, with every district benefitting from several outstanding policing teams. Each day the work of these teams helps remove offenders and safeguard vulnerable people. These efforts will not change but will be significantly complemented by this new task force.

“We know all areas have localised concerns which they would like to have resolved and our new, specialist team is going to bring about meaningful change. Its expertise has already achieved considerable success, not least removing a county line in Ashford.

“This is an exceptional start which demonstrates the effectiveness and long term benefits the team will have on the communities it serves. My officers working within it are going to continue to work with partner agencies, residents and businesses to identify issues of concern and bring them to an abrupt end.’”

‘Quality of life’

The day to day running of the team will be overseen by Inspector Sarah Allen, who said: “Many of the jobs our team deal with are underreported, although the quality of life impact can be significant – with residents and businesses often feeling that an issue affecting them is not important enough to warrant our attention.

“I would encourage them to change their mindset. We are here to help ensure your community remains a safe place you can enjoy all year around and you can help us achieve that by reporting any concerns you may have.

“It is easier than ever to get hold of us – make a report online, either through our online reporting tool or live chat feature on our website, call us on 101 or approach one of our officers directly when you see them on the streets.”

Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott added: “Residents and businesses have told me that crime prevention and dealing with antisocial behaviour are among their top priorities.

“I’m delighted to have been able to support the creation of the Problem Solving Task Force through the council tax precept. The team is doing excellent work to support local communities and help improve quality of life.”

Resident ‘grateful for second Covid lockdown’ due to distress caused by ‘feral gang’ in Ramsgate town


  1. Can we have some clarification on exactly what their powers are & what they have enforced, or is this the police enforcing it from information provided by them? PCSO’s to my knowledge don’t have powers of arrest, being involved in executing warrants on organised crime/heavy duty drug suppliers/human traffickers/child exploitation.

    Having seen how a lot of them have abused their positions all over the country over the years for personal gain, or they are rent a cops who like having a uniform & a bit of power it is concerning if they have suddenly been given such powers. Doesn’t seem to be much out there other than the back patting press releases from Kent Police & the local politicians posing for pictures.

    They do seem to have been given rather a lot of power already-which does nothing to dispel them as being policing on the cheap. It is up for debate as to whether they should have the power to be searching people & confiscating items, but there is a big difference between taking some booze & weed off the local drunks or little toerags & being involved in county lines operations & knocking down people’s doors. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/117572/pcso-powers.pdf

      • Assuming they do, if they are doing things they are not authorised to do nor been trained to & behaved incorrectly then aside from the abuse of power issues that can lead to miscarriages of justice it costs the taxpayer when it gets to court & thrown out, or appealed & overturned. Also the power of these individuals is decided nationally, not by a regional police force.

        • “Assuming …”, “if …”. You sound like Ian Driver
          Assume they didn’t do things they weren’t authorized to do. Do you have any evidence to the contrary?

          • Well, since there is so little detail about this special force out there what else can we do but assume? It is hard to have evidence to the contrary when there is nothing out there in the public domain & then we get a story about them somehow being involved in warrants for county lines drugs gangs etc.

            The ambiguity is just what role they are playing, does it not concern you one bit that potentially the police can just set up a force of non police officers & having them doing things they aren’t trained to do, when they have no power of arrest legally?

            There are enough police officers-including in Kent behaving badly-especially at the moment like the two women getting treated like bank robbers, with cops surrounding them after they went within the prescribed distance allowed to the middle of nowhere to exercise with a couple of coffees & were arrested & charged with breaking rules by supposedly having a picnic. Of course Boris can ride his bike round London as far as he likes & his advisor can drive half way round the country to get his eyes tested with no punishment.

            Or the forces whose chief constables decided needed to be going round supermarkets following people doing their shopping to ‘make sure they were only buying essential items’ the government quickly said there is no definition of essential & if a shop is displaying it then you can buy it. You really want people who weren’t up to the standard of being proper cops running around doing as they please?

    • Whatever their powers ,iit seems odd that the police are gettinginvolved 8n rubbish and graffitti reomval, are they not tasks that fall into the councils remit.

      • I agree LC, but there are crimes that could involve PCSO’s if the Police are too stretched sometimes. A few weeks ago I was queuing in a store waiting to pay, and there was a couple in front of me, the woman was holding a pram. Suddenly the man, in his mid to late 30’s my guess, punched the woman in the face! I shouted out you can’t do that, and he punched the woman in the face again! I shouted out for the staff to get Security, and the man walked off. When I came to pay, the Cashier said it would be on video, and asked for my contact details, which I gave her. When I got home I emailed a PCSO about the incident, and said if he was quick he may get more information from the store staff. He emailed back saying its wasn’t his patch, and for me to contact Police 101, I said he should contact whoever’s patch it was, as I wasn’t going to spend the rest of the day hanging on the 101 phone! I don’t know if he did contact his colleague, but it shows that attitude of some PCSO’s is to fob people off with excuses, rather than take action! This applies to TDC too!

  2. Millmead and Cliftonville needs it’s own task force to seek out those who are stealing motorcycles all over Thanet once dusk arrives. These feral teens and young men are out most nights with cutting tools seeking and taking motorbikes, having fun riding up and down the streets and parks then setting light to them when they have had enough. Some are being used for months without any clampdown by the police. Most leads take you back to Millmead. Their parents allow this behaviour and must be as bad as their feral kids for helping them hide the bikes.
    Also, there are many excessively noisy scooters and motorbikes being used without the numberplates on so cannot be identified with nothing done by the police. In Cliftonville it is rife. There seems to be a pandemic within another pandemic. The police must get on top of this if they are going to start saying how successful they are.

  3. Since the late licensed hospitality venues have been covid closed, The last 11 months have been so very different.

    Hopefully when the late licensed venues reopen, they will be policed. Hey its nice not seeing blood, petty vandalism etc on the streets around the harbour.

  4. Of course that is a tired old argument-make em do national service guvnor-worked out so well during the two World Wars & Vietnam didn’t it? The last thing you want to do is train people with behavioural issues & criminality into being killing machine & give them guns & other weapons-then they return & are let loose on society with combat training & far more likely to be extremely violent while committing crime.

    Also sending them overseas to do forced charity work is not a good idea either-aside from the obvious Covid issues preventing such travel there have been a lot of people with clean records using charity missions to force adults & children into sex or sexual favours in return for food among other things they have power over, if you start sending people with sociopathic, controlling & psychopathic tendencies over there who have control over who eats then you are causing all kinds of problems.

    The other option of locking people up for 23 hours a day as punishment in jails, described by the inspectors as being unfit for purpose without any interest in rehabilitation hasn’t ever worked well for society when they get released either. But like the national service nonsense is a useful vote winner for politicians appealing to Daily Mail, Express & Sun readers.

    • Make prisons a place for reform, rather than just for punishment & learning even worse criminal traits from others.

  5. The judges don’t make the laws, nor do they make the sentencing regimes. If the maximum penalty for an offence is, say, a £500 fine, the judge can’t send the guilty party to prison.
    Best take it up with Craig.

  6. Well, we have had decades of locking people up in hellholes where often they still have to slop out, spending 23 hours a day in a cell & it never has & never will work. If you treat people like animals then they tend to behave as such-as we have just seen with the put 28 people in a room Covid Barracks & let them stew attitude of Patel & the government. Releasing people back into society who have zero ability to do anything but commit crime only leads to one thing-re-offending & back inside.

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