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.
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 offences
|Criminal damage and arson