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Police commissioner Ann Barnes promises more police on the beat

By Isle of Thanet Gazette  |  Posted: January 12, 2013

By Thomas Brown thomas.brown@krnmedia.co.uk

  • Police commissioner Ann Barnes pledges to find more cash for police on the beat

  • LISTENING: Police commissioner Ann Barnes met residents to hear their views

  • QUESTIONS: Louie Jones, from Westgate, with Ann Barnes

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POLICE commissioner Ann Barnes has pledged to find cash for more police on the beat after a trip to Thanet this week.

Mrs Barnes is set to reveal her new budget next month and is willing to answer calls for more frontline cops.

She said: "Losing one fifth of the workforce has to have an impact. Almost everyone I've spoken to today has said they want more police on the street.

"With a tight budget, we're doing everything we can to find the funding to pay for a few more officers."

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Former magistrate Mrs Barnes took a tour of Thanet on Wednesday to ask residents' views of policing in the area.

She won a landslide victory to become Kent's first police commissioner in November and is finalising plans for her first policing and crime plan.

Her visit to the isle was an opportunity to meet and greet residents and gauge their views to shape her plans, she said. Mrs Barnes arrived in her Ann Force 1 van and met traders and shoppers in Margate, Cliftonville and at Westwood Cross.

She said: "From a force-wide perspective, Thanet is doing well with crime falling in the district. It's not just the statistics, in surveys of public satisfaction, nine out of ten residents were happy with the police service."

Mrs Barnes also visited the CCTV control centre to see how Thanet's eyes in the sky help the fight against crime and was pleased to hear that 24-hour coverage had been restored despite budget cuts.

To keep in touch with Ann Barnes:

Twitter: @AnnBarnesKPCC

Web: www.annbarnes.co.uk

Read more from Thanet Gazette

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  • ValerieM  |  January 16 2013, 8:54AM

    A landslide victory? Really? The turnout for the PCC election was miserable. The vast majority of the electorate either didn't care, or felt that the PCC elections were a stupid idea. I think that Ms Barnes performance since that election show that those in the second camp were probably right. For example, she highlights that the Police budgets are being slashed at the moment, mostly at the behest of central government, and over this she has no control. But, she does see fit to appoint two of her cronies to assist her in her obsfucation of the real situation. As for the situation in Cliftonville above, I sympathise with the frustration of Kent_resident. However, if the Police were to try with no support from other agencies to sort the situation there, it would ensure that the rest of the Thanet towns had no resources available to them. Policing is that tightly stretched all over the country, and we're no exception down here. For Scotken - a return to policing of the 1940s and 1950s? I'm not sure that would really help.

  • scotken  |  January 14 2013, 11:22AM

    The Barnes woman was a great disaster on the police authority board, always more money demanded for even less policing. The police round here are known as the secret service never ever seen. Shopping in Maidstone last week,all day, just going from Shop to shop buying small items, got there at 0900hrs left at approximately 1600hrs did not see one policeman. That is not the first time. Well at least this woman has a huge reserve of cash to call on to put some practices into action but I would not bank on it. Far too friendly with police to be of any real use, the person for the job should be completely independent having had no contact with the police preferably a senior military person who is able to organise men which it would appear noone in the force is able to do.

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  • KentEngDem  |  January 12 2013, 2:00PM

    I believe it was Dymchurch on Anne Barnes home turf that there was no police cover, recently reported . I await with bated breath to see Anne fulfil her promises made at the Hustings ! A fleet of mobile police caravans for rural areas was promised as well ! Time will tell.

  • Kent_Resident  |  January 12 2013, 1:07PM

    The MP's and Commissioner need to come to Cliftonville West Ward and see the lawlessness and unrest for themselves. Who were these 9 out of 10 residents who were happy with the Policing of the area ? This is very hard to believe. Cliftonville West Ward has a high amount of crime, whether or not recorded. The main reason for this is the Eastern European and gypsy communities that have taken over much of the area and made it into a Ghetto. They fight among themselves on the streets late in the night. Throw furniture and rubbish out onto the pavements each and every day. Dirty nappies thrown out of windows causing a disgusting mess. Drunks roaming the streets and collapsing. Driving untaxed and MOT vehicles about without using seatbelts, not even for their children. Not registering their vehicles in the Country after 6 months. Selling drugs from many of the properties. Bypass electricity meters and share their children out to claim more benefits. They are getting away with all this because nobody wants to challenge them and their anti-social behaviour. The Government says they are great for the Country. This last decade has seen a big decline here because of this. All the new flats are being overtaken by those described people, so just making it worse. The Council should say we cannot take anymore but they wont. We do not see any type of Council Warden in Cliftonville West Ward at all. The Police ignore it as they drive by. We are lucky to see a Policeman on the beat from one season to the next. They will target an area for a week then leave you to get on with it thereafter. Drunks have taken over areas of Northdown Road from Spring to Winter with disgusting behaviour and violence. It just gets worse and worse here and people are afraid to go out at night. Try asking the law-abiding residents here what they think of it all and you will get some real answers to shock you.

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