Concern at antisocial behaviour in Tunbridge Wells

Mayfield festival has changed its line up to maximise appeal

Antisocial behaviour has fallen in Tunbridge Wells by 19 per cent, according to latest data.

Reports fell last year from 2,236 to 1,817, making it one of the few types of crime to show a fall, with the number of reports of all crime rising by around 25 per cent.

Tunbridge Wells maintained its position as the safest borough in Kent as the number of reports of all crime rose by a similar rate across the county.

Kent Police is trying different approaches to tackle antisocial behaviour in the town with ‘concern’ raised about large groups using cannabis and drinking alcohol.

In a latest attempt to reduce antisocial behaviour, officers partnered with charities and community groups to engage with young people in Tunbridge Wells centre.

PC Charlie Brown said: ‘We are aware of some issues in the town centre around large groups gathering.

‘There have been a number of concerns raised to us and these sometimes relate to the consumption of cannabis and alcohol in public places as well as incidents of criminal damage.

‘However, we also know that having a visible policing deterrent is only one part of tackling antisocial behaviour.

‘We recognise it is important to understand better the needs of individuals who may be attracted to these groups, in order to help us prevent the misuse of alcohol and drugs and related issues.’

Kent County Council, the Kenward Trust, St Giles’ Trust and the YMCA were among the charities and organisations to join the police for their first venture in the evening of Friday, April 13.

They spoke to 30 young people. Among the team was a volunteer from the Kenward Trust who spoke about how drugs had blighted his life.

PC Brown added: ‘It was really pleasing and extremely encouraging to see how these young people engaged with us.

‘We will continue to work with our partners in this way in the future to hopefully not only reduce antisocial behaviour in Tunbridge Wells but also improve the lives of young people who may be vulnerable and need of help.’

Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott told the Times last week that he ‘understands concerns’ about the rising rates and has increased funds in Tunbridge Wells.

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