Six priorities for policing in Kent confirmed after chief’s comments

Six priorities for policing in Kent confirmed after chief's comments
Tunbridge Wells Police Station

The local force has instead listed its six key priorities to be: Child abuse & exploitation, gangs, human trafficking & modern slavery, organised acquisitive crime, counter terrorism & domestic extremism and domestic abuse, serious violence & sexual offences.

Their clarification follows Sara Thornton, Chair of the National Police Chiefs Council [NPCC], announcing her desire for officers to instead focus on ‘core policing’.

She told the NPCC’s annual conference: “Treating misogyny as a hate crime is a concern for some well-organised campaigning organisations.

“In July, chiefs debated whether we should record such allegations even when no crime is committed. But we do not have the resources to do everything that is desirable and deserving.

“I want us to solve more burglaries and bear down on violence before we make more records of incidents that are not crimes.”

Sara Thornton


She later clarified that she did not feel misogyny was ‘not an issue’ but instead questioned whether it should be a criminal offence.

Her comments were criticised by the Fawcett Society, the UK’s leading charity campaigning for gender equality.

A spokesman told reporters that Ms Thornton had mentioned only misogyny and not said race, religion, or disability discrimination should be declassified as an offence.

Following this, the Times spoke to the local force to get their take.

Tony Blaker, Deputy Chief Constable of Kent Police, said: “When a crime report is received officers will assess how best to respond based on the level of threat, risk and harm associated with the offence.

“The priorities for Kent Police are set by the Police and Crime Commissioner in his Police and Crime Plan, Safer in Kent. The force is then responsible for allocating resources to deliver against those priorities. 

“As well as delivering against the Police and Crime Plan the force control strategy determines operational priorities and takes into account national policing issues and policing priorities for Kent.”

Tony Blaker

He added: ‘However, high harm impact crime that causes distress for victims such as fraud and burglary are also of the upmost importance and this is reflected by how our resources are allocated.

“This strategy is reviewed yearly and informs how we focus our training and knowledge building.”

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