Call for ‘zero tolerance enforcement’ in Ramsgate town following spate of stabbings

Four arrests have been made following the most recent stabbing incident

A call for zero tolerance enforcement of offences in Ramsgate town is being made following a spate of stabbings in recent weeks.

A Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) for Central Harbour and parts of Eastcliff wards in Ramsgate was passed by Thanet council in 2018 after hundreds of complaints of antisocial behaviour. Orders covering Margate Central and Cliftonville West were also made.

But Central Harbour ward councillors Becky Wing, Tricia Austin and Raushan Ara say crime statistics for the area are ‘shocking’ and there is a failure to tackle the problems. The trio say enforcement of the PSPO is needed.

The call comes after two men suffered stab wounds during a disturbance  on April 6; one man was stabbed during a town centre brawl on March 25 and, the same evening, a taxi driver was stabbed and robbed in Margate Road. A man was also stabbed in the arm during an incident on Ramsgate seafront on March 18.

The ward councillors said: “The crime statistics for the town centre remain shocking and clearly show a failure to tackle the issue which remains a prime concern for locals, businesses and visitors.

“What is needed is  zero tolerance enforcement by the police and Thanet council of the PSPO, which is simply ignored by a small but significant number of people who can make the town centre unpleasant and unsafe for others, even during the day when people under the influence of drink and drugs can become problematic.

“At a recent Ramsgate Town Council annual meeting the new Thanet Police Commander said he was determined to see things change. This has been a long time coming and we hope that the new additional Police Task Force he announced will operate out of  Ramsgate Police Station.”

Thanet District Commander Ian Swallow shared news of a second multi-agency task force for the isle which will come into force as part of a new neighbourhood policing model launching in June.

He told the annual meeting that new Kent Police Chief Constable Tim Smith was focused on frontline and neighbourhood policing.

Although PCSO numbers are being cut, changes will mean every Thanet ward has a named Police Constable for the area and there would be a doubling up of officers in busy wards, such as Central Harbour.

Chief Inspector Ian Swallow, who lives with his family in Broadstairs, said there will be a new dedicated child protection team and a second task force.

Members of Thanet Multi-Agency Task Force

Thanet’s current Multi-Agency Task Force (MTF) has 27 different agencies in its core group and works with dozens more.

The Margate Task Force (MTF) was launched in 2009 and was initially focused on Margate Central and Cliftonville West. In 2018 Ramsgate’s East Cliff and Central Harbour wards were included and in 2019 the task force covered the whole isle.

In 2020 The Margate Task Force (MTF) rebranded as the Thanet Multi-agency Task Force (MTF)) and in June Thanet will get its second neighbourhood task force.

Ch Insp Swallow also said Kent Police recognised Ramsgate was “the epicentre” of the night time economy in Thanet and there would be a continued focus on tackling the issues that come with that.

Increased police presence in Ramsgate

Superintendent Rob Marsh, of East Kent Divisional Command, says there is an increased police presence in Ramsgate and swift arrests were made after the most recent incidents.

He added: “Kent Police understands that Ramsgate residents may be alarmed by reports of three assaults in the town centre at night time in recent weeks.

“Our officers made quick arrests following all three incidents, with a total of six people charged and remanded into custody ahead of court proceedings relating to separate assaults on 18 and 25 March.

“Four other people have been arrested in relation to a further separate incident on 6 April and I am confident that our ongoing investigation will bring any offenders involved to justice.

“We currently have an increased police presence in Ramsgate and continue to work with licensees and partner agencies to keep the town safe and protect the community.

“Our new neighbourhood policing model will see extra police officers moved into neighbourhood policing, with the introduction of dedicated task forces working directly with the public to tackle issues within their local communities.”

Kent Police says it will continue to provide support to Thanet District Council for the enforcement of the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO).

Central Harbour crime reports for February 2023

Violence and sexual offences5334.6%
Anti-social behaviour3925.5%
Bicycle theft10.7%
Criminal damage and arson2315%
Other theft95.9%
Public order74.6%
Vehicle crime21.3%
Other crime21.3%



  1. I’ve noticed over the last few weeks that there is an increase of violence in the thanet area.
    What we need is more police in the area, because there isn’t enough officers to deal with all the issues we have in the area.

    • It’s been extremely violent down Ramsgate Town at night since probably 2010. It’s only coming to light now because knifes are involved. Margate town has a problem with crack heads day and night and Sheldons has become an extremely anti social pub at the top. It makes it very hard to attract businesses because nobody who is sensible would want to walk through or be around it

  2. TDC need to get serious about sorting out the multi storey in Leopold Street. It’s disgusting and a magnet for crime. Many studies show if an area is run down (graffiti, broken windows, unclean) then they send out a signal that no-one cares and the damage worsens as antisocial behaviour is likely to increase in the area. The Ramsgate town team do such a great job of keeping the town clean but can only do so much. We also need more police presence but from what I understand the number of blue light vehicles is shared across Thanet.

  3. I totally agree with Realistic Girl.The whole harbour area is overrun with graffiti, weeds everywhere and litter.It actually looks like a place that invites crime.Most towns clean up or overpaint graffiti and spray indudtrial levels of weeds.I wonder how many tourists pay us a return trip. TDC needs to tackle these issues because quite frankly Ramsgate is easily a contender for Britains worst seaside town.

    • I suppose Rick has been to all of the seaside towns in Britain and is therefore able to safely make this bold assertion.

    • Rick has hit the nail etc, graffiti would stop overnight if paint sprays were banned! Why are they on sale anyway? If anyone needs to touch up a knock on their car, get it done professionally, duurh!

      • £10 for tin of primer, £10 for a tin of spray, £10 for a tin of clear coat.


        A £200 minimum for dent/chip/paint smear repair.

      • I like these people who ideas are to ban the whole of the uk to stop a problem.

        Really lol

        Perhaps these people have money to burn and can afford the pay for small repairs. Not everyone can.

        The people of thanet are the ones doing the littering and graffiti oh and of course banksy but his graffiti is ok !

        Lots of people have very little pride in where they live and only care about themselves.

      • I agree its people who litter and graffiti but when you go all around Ramsgate and see the neglect by the council… there are post boxes that the weeds need parting to post letters,there are weeds a metre high, detritus in all the kerbs, graffitti not cleaned up and litter left for years..Maybe the example set by the council is the reason.The place is becoming a dump.Sorry.

  4. The sentences for carrying and using a knife are far too lenient, until the punishments get realistic, it will continue!

  5. I blatantly see a drugs deal Sunday lunch time around 12 near waitrose ,Opposite the old toilets was so obvious even a blind person would of seen it ,these people just don’t care such a shame ,but lack of funding for the police presence just doesn’t help matters , people just don’t fear the consequences of crime anymore .

  6. We need zero tolerance across Thanet ,and l blame the pubs opening all hours of the day,
    Should go back to the old closing times ,
    Lot less trouble than.

    • “Should go back to the old closing times ,
      Lot less trouble than.”

      That is incorrect. Staggered closing times help prevent violence.

  7. Phyllida sorry but I have been to many seaside towns. Probably over 20 this year alone.Even on our East Kent coast there is an emphasis on presenting the town as a nice place to visit.Cleanliness,flower displays,painted railings ,swept roads etc.Oh and then there is the awful neglect of a town called Ramsgate.

    • You don’t actually have to travel the length and breadth of Britain to see what various resort crime rates are.
      Google will give you objective (rather than subjective) data.

    • Have you been for a walk along Winterstoke recently? See all the fantastic, well cared for planting?
      Or Albion Gardens?
      Or Ellington Park?
      Or the West Cliff prom?
      Or the Royal Harbour?
      Or the Arches?

    • Ramsgate is a nice place to visit. My friends and relatives think so anyway. So do plenty of people I don’t know and am not related to, according to recent estimates of how much money visitors bring to the town’s economy.

  8. just face the facts , this is a run down seaside town thats not coming back , they have all been in decline for years , who would book a fortnights holiday in this dump ?

    • “who would book a fortnights holiday in this dump ?”

      Plenty of people, going off the thriving tourism and air bnb industries around here. Maybe if you left your Mum’s cellar once in a while mate, you might see some of it in action.

  9. Proactive policing search everyone properly who goes in to the clubs and pubs those who have no knives etc on them won’t mind if it makes everyone safer and those who decide to carry weapons are then banned from the area after a certain hour like 7pm till 7am, yes it could be costly but use the security on the door of clubs to search each person and bag of everyone and a greater police presence would be required, will it happen maybe for a month then it will lapse again or those who wish to carry a weapon will just go to another area, as for graffiti Rick is right most other seaside areas have a plan to cover or remove graffiti as soon as possible and to keep everywhere as clean as possible not let it fester,

    • ” most other seaside areas have a plan to cover or remove graffiti ”

      Conversely, the big, successful tourist towns, do nought but embrace it.

      See Brighton, Blackpool, Southend etc.

  10. Broken windows theory is often quoted by those who know very little about its origins and outcomes. Its like the terms ‘sink estate’, feral children, and all the other terms used to blame the poor for being poor. Its often linked to ‘zero tolerance’ policing, which tends to stereotype and pick on selected social groups. It was popularised by New York Mayor Giuliani and his police chief Bratton in the early 1990’s, but it was based on a misunderstanding of a series of studies by Wilson + Kelling amongst others.
    Giuliani claimed credit for a fall in crime which was not supported by the evidence, because at the time there was a general fall in crime from a post war high, and to date no one has been able to explain why.
    Where Broken windows might work, is investing in the built environment, cleaning up and repairing all the large and small things that have been left undone, and introducing community policing to deal with incidents as they arise.
    In the past Ramsgate has been ‘left behind’, by a Margate centred, badly run District Council, and this gave the wrong signals to those who thought wrongly, that it was alright to make things even worse. The police force were holed up in Margate, and by the time an incident had been reported, it took half an hour before the police were on the scene. This was far too late .
    Right up to the 1950’s Ramsgate, had its own police force (1 inspector , 2 Sgts and 10 PCs)and its own fire service. In parts of Europe this is the norm, but here in pothole Britain, austerity, short termism, and news management has done its worse. If we add in ‘Margate-centricity’, and you have a perfect storm.
    The powers at be are now reaping the whirlwind of 40 years of neglect, and serve them right.

    • If only it were just “the powers that be” that are suffering. There is no come-back on them. It’s just the residents that feel anxious about going into town. My taxi driver needed eyes on stalks leaving a Harbour Street restaurant on Sunday evening because there were unidentifiable “people” around!

  11. I recently spent a few weeks exploring Germany, and even the “poor” parts have spotlessly clean streets without weeds, and busy High Streets with such shops as C&A and Woolworths (towns the size of Birchington have several great clothes and shoe shops). Those who still think this country is great really need to travel more.

  12. Planning our annual visit to Ramsgate, every year for the last 8/9 yrs, next month, I was somewhat dismayed at the recent stabbings/crime figures, which may now, mean, having our plans changed. A shame really, because over the yrs we have received, nothing but friendliness, from everyone, in the Town. We spend a considerable amount of money, staying in the Town, and surrounding areas, what with hotel prices, shopping, meals out, dont mention the parking charges, though, Leopald St Multi-Storey, is a disgrace, but the only parking available to some Hotel guests staying near the Harbour, although I like the idea of upper levels closed off, from 1900hrs till 0700hrs, cannot the Council re-introduce, a cheaper weekly ticket, as was possible some yrs ago, for those on holidays. Being in our mid 60s, we have felt safe walking about the Harbour area, at night, but obviously we are not Night Owls, out to the wee small hrs. The problems, quoted, about Ramsgate, appear to be problamatic to seaside Towns. Recent visits to Blackpool/Scarborough, etc, have the same problems. Scotland is not excluded from some of the same, High St shop closures, begging, graffiti, etc, Union St Aberdeen, is a dump, visited last week, Edinburghs famous Princess St, shops closed, spray painting, begging, etc, what a shame. Totally agree Policing is the key, our Police Station, once the Divisional HQ, is now manned part time, population 23k, HQ moved to the largest Town in area. It seems Policing, throughout the UK, needs a drastic new agenda, for their citizens. Whether we travel 600+mls, from Scotland, to Ramsgate, is pretty much still up for debate, hopefully Ramsgate wins out.

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