Thanet District Commander outlines new policing model at meeting with Ramsgate traders

Ch Insp Swallow, Cllr Ara, Insp Jim Woodward and Rezaur (Cllr Ara's husband)

Kent Police beat officers will be assigned to every ward in Thanet following changes to the way the force operates from next month.

Speaking at a meeting organised by Cllr Raushan Ara with Ramsgate traders and licensees yesterday (May 11) Thanet District Commander Ian Swallow said a new policing model comes into effect on June 7.

The changes come as the number of PCSOs in Kent drop from around 300 to 100 in a cost-cutting measure. However, a new focus on neighbourhood policing means each of the 23 Thanet wards will have a dedicated Police Constable.

Ch Insp Ian Swallow said: “On June 7th we move to a new policing model and the neighbourhood policing team uplift will be spread over a period of time. There will be extra beat officers in all the wards.

“We will be 50-60% established on day one with 14 (beat) police officers. By the following year we hope to achieve full uplift.”

The model also includes an additional neighbourhood task force for the isle and a new ‘child centred’ policing team. There will also be changes to licensing with beat officers dealing with day to day issues and a team centralised in Maidstone concentrating on areas such as reviews and temporary event notices.

Extra resources

Ch Insp Swallow acknowledged Ramsgate is currently the centre of the isle’s night time economy – although Margate is likely to take that spot in the Summer due to the number of large events planned at Dreamland.

He said extra resources were brought in last month following a series of violent incidents involving weapons.

But, he added: “We are acutely aware of the incidents that happened last month and the month before for 2-3 weekends in a row. There were significant issues in Ramsgate, we are aware of that. But they were very unique events. They were not linked to anything in relation to the night time economy or local residents coming out fighting, they were specific events with known individuals..

“We made arrests, charged them and have taken them off the street.”

He added that although Thanet has higher violence and vunerability rates than Medway and Maidstone, figures compared nationally show “it is a safe place to work and a safe place to live.”

Ch Insp Swallow and Inspector Jim Woodward, who also attended the traders’ meeting, said the plan was to focus on incidents that affect every day life, from antisocial behaviour and nuisance youths to street drinking and issues in the evenings.

He added: “Margate Central, Cliftonville and Ramsgate (town) are priority areas in terms of deploying troops and getting officers on the ground.”

He said the district can also ‘bid’ for county resources when there are specific issues that need extra resources.

He said: “We can bid for, and get, county resources where there’s an issue to balloon that resourcing in the district. We have done that for the last month and over the summer months we will continue to do that and bring extra police officers here.”

Ch Insp Swallow also told the gathering that Ramsgate was the town with the least problems last summer with Margate worst affected and then Broadstairs.

Schemes to keep people safe

Also highlighted was the Best Bar None scheme which has been rolled out in Ramsgate and rates venues for safety and quality of service; the Ask Angela/Andrew scheme which any person feeling unsafe can ask bar staff for and they will then contact police and the “My night out” app from Thanet Community Safety Partnership showing where the safe spaces are, the best lit streets and direct access to taxi companies as well as online links to the Police and other emergency services.

A scheme similar to Best Bar None is also planned for taxi companies.

Traders at the meeting raised some concerns regarding street drinking in Charlotte Court, nuisance behaviour from youths and drug dealing near Ramsgate’s police shop but agreed the town had not suffered serious incidents over the bank holiday period.

Find the My Night Out interactive map here


  1. So kingsgate with 2,000 electorate get a dedicated police person while dane valley with nearly 6,000 only gets one also. Flawed reorganisation hiding cutbacks to police numbers

    • Kingsgate and Palm Bay residents need the extra police to protect them from the feral kids from Dane Valley

      • Try living in the St.Johns area, some serious police attendance at the Old British Legion drug hostel last week ( police were even knocking on doors asking for info, though they would’nt say what had happened) plus seemingly a huge influx of alcoholics into the area in last couple of weeks, perhaps they’ve been placed in the old legion, certainly hasn’t improved the area.
        The only beneficiary is seemingly the “green shop” where they all go for their booze.

  2. It is needed I cannot believe the crime stabbings mugging harassment and terrible drug and drunks in public spaces top of Kent Place gardens smoking drugs drunk abuse outrageous put the local police in the town and get this kind of crime sorted out PLEASE

  3. When they closed the station here in Broadstairs because of rumours of corruption, and a new chief constable for Kent was brought in, they cut back on the amount of officers, hence the increased violence. We need more officers.

  4. So, we have 1/3 of the PCSOs we used to have, and 60% of the police officers we need, and that’s an improvement?

  5. Special constabulary officers should be paid for the time they spend on duty and more recruited. This latest move is just smoke and mirrors of an incompetent police commissioner.

    • Bill, and the rest of you, I have been trying to make complains against the police for over 2 years, from the lowest PCSO, to the Chief Constable. I have written proof of police failure to enforce the law, which I have taken right up to the so called Independent Office for Police Conduct (IoPC). All of them failed to comply with the 12 criteria shown in the IoPC “complaints Procedure”, including the IoPC! The problem is the police nationally are fire proof, because they are a law unto themselves! They are NOT publicly accountable! We are not quite yet a police state, but it s very close!

  6. Having spent the last fifteen years before my retirement working on crime and disorder matters for Hackney Council, these proposals don’t even make sense. Cutting PCSOs to 100 across Kent means roughly seven in each local authority. Just what one of these for each four wards is supposed to d is not clear. Policing should the prevention and detection of crime and the apprehension of offenders. Most people would prefer the first. We need a system of neighborhood policing, not officers spending all their time in crime cars. Properly staffed and monitored CCTV systems with voice broadcasting facilities and a programme of anti theft and burglary measures, preferably run by the council to make them accountable and regular fora to report to local communities. Not rocket science but this programme won’t cut it I am afraid.

  7. Keith, see my post above. I have been trying to blow the whistle of police practice that depends on their use of a charity, instead of their prosecuting offenders themselves! Pardon the pun, but its a Cop Out, a charity is not a branch of the police, its not publicly accountable, and it has a policy of not pursuing offenders if they can’t afford it! It means thousands of largely small, pre-school children are injured, and sometimes killed each year, due to police negligence! I am still pursuing my complaints, even into parliament, who also are trying to ignore this abuse because to remedy the situation would cost the police a lot of money, and thats something the Tory’s abhor!

  8. If I see police in my road I feel less safe not more.

    I have zero confidence in our police force. They are a shambles.

    Broken system.

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