Maidstone and the Weald MP, Helen Grant, called a meeting to address the growing issue of anti-social behaviour (ASB) in and around the Cranbrook area.
Local residents have reported a worrying increase in incidents, including teenagers smashing windows and streetlights with catapults and steel ball bearings. A car left in the Cranbrook co-op car park overnight was also severely damaged when tipped on its side by vandals recently.
The community has struggled to tackle this issue for some time now and the situation is escalating. Some local residents are now reticent to report incidents for fear of reprisals by certain groups and individuals.
Cranbrook and Sissinghurst Parish Council Chair Kim Fletcher explained the position to Helen Grant during a recent visit to Cranbrook, when she was delivering food parcels for a local charity. It was then that she resolved with Mr Fletcher to bring local leaders together and take action.
Helen Grant MP said: “Cranbrook is one of the jewels of the Weald and it is extremely concerning that its reputation is being damaged by the criminal behaviour of a small group of individuals. I am now working with local stakeholders to develop a clear strategy and action plan to tackle this behaviour. I particularly want to increase the police presence in Cranbrook, a move that has already achieved success in reducing ASB in parts of Maidstone, to make sure that everyone can feel safe and enjoy their beautiful town.”
Kim Fletcher said “The regrettable anti-social behaviour in Cranbrook requires a multi-agency response, and I am grateful to Helen for getting some of the main agencies together.
Hopefully this is the restart of the network of the myriad of services who can help but have lost contact with one another during Covid.”
The round table meeting was attended by Matthew Scott, Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, senior members of Kent Police’s Community Safety Unit, the leader of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Tom Dawlings, local Kent County Councillor Seán Holden, managers from Town and Country Housing and members of Cranbrook & Sissinghurst Parish Council.
Kent Police are urging local people to report all incidents of criminal damage and anti-social behaviour. Anonymous reports can be made at www.Crimestoppers-uk.org and for more information go to the Kent Police website here https://tinyurl.com/45zezh88.