Maidstone Community Safety Partnership Plan



June 2021 Update



‘Where people feel safe

 and are safe’

Table of Contents
Preface by the Leader of Maidstone Borough Council	3
Forward by Co-chairs of the Safer Maidstone Partnership Executive	4
Introduction	5
Safer Maidstone Partnership Priority Setting:	6
What data we used and what it told us:	6
What people told us:	6
Local Community Safety Considerations:	7
Priority Setting- 2021 Update:	8
Safer Maidstone Partnership Governance:	9
Safer Maidstone Partnership Executive Group (SMPEG):	9
Crime and Disorder Committee:	9
Safer Maidstone Partnership:	9
SMP Subgroups:	10
The Maidstone Task Force	11
Linked Boards	12
Priorities	13
Protecting our communities against serious, violent and organised crime (including modern-day slavery):	14
Reducing the harm caused by domestic abuse (including stalking):	15
Keeping children and young people safe:	16
Reduce the impact of substance misuse on our community:	17
Safeguard people whose mental health makes them vulnerable to becoming a victim or where it leads to an impact on the wider community:	18
Appendices	19
Appendix 1- Priorities & cross cutting themes for the CSA and the PCC:	19
Appendix 2- Safer Maidstone Partnership Structure and Priorities:	20
Appendix 3- Summary of the sub-groups and working groups that work in each of the priority areas:	21
Appendix 4- Glossary of terms and acronyms:	22

Preface by the Leader of Maidstone Borough Council


As we recover from the global pandemic, we must not underestimate the challenges facing the Borough of Maidstone. 


Chief among the concerns of many people I meet on the doorstep are those of crime & disorder, the perception of rising violence on our streets and the scourge of violence in the home.


The Council’s power to tackle these challenges is not limitless, but fortunately for those concerned, the Council’s role is considerable.

Cllr David Burton, Leader of Maidstone Borough Council

Here in Kent, our Police & Crime Commissioner has led the initiative to increase the number of police officers available to the force.  And in the wider national sphere, the Government has committed to delivering further increases in such numbers with the Home Secretary making clear her aim of wanting criminals to feel the full force of the law.


This Council is committed to working with our local Police to deliver residents’ expectations.  Our aim is that Maidstone will be a place where law abiding residents feel safe and are safe.


Maidstone’s Community Safety Partnership is a key example of the Council working with the Police and other agencies to this end.


This is the third year of the existing Community Safety Partnership Plan.  This document will set out: -


a) The objectives of the current plan;

b) Why the Council has been focussing on these areas; and

c) What we plan to achieve.


During the course of the year, this Council will be working with partner agencies to develop a new strategy, with revised priorities and a harder edge, to ensure that our efforts are relevant and effective.  We will be seeking to continue increasing the use of the robust powers Parliament has given us in tackling anti-social behaviour and criminality.  We will also be aiming to step up our efforts tackling the obvious environmental factors in which crime breeds, like messy streets and graffiti that fuel an ‘anything goes’ mentality.


Be assured that we have been listening carefully to your concerns on these issues and will continue to do so as we move forward.


Forward by Co-chairs of the Safer Maidstone Partnership Executive

Gary Woodward
  Chief Inspector Kent Police
Alison Broom
Chief Executive, Maidstone Borough Council

The Maidstone Community Safety Partnership has a good track record of collaborative working to keep our communities safe and feeling safe. Our 2019-22 plan builds on extensive experience of working together and the productive and resilient relationships developed, which enable us to identify and tackle local community safety issues that matter to Maidstone residents. The plan will be revised annually following review of information and the details of this, as well as the progress against this plan, will be set out in our Strategic Assessment.


We want our approach to be evidence based, objective led, and outcome focussed – but just as importantly to include proper consideration for both the victims and the witnesses and their needs.  In these unprecedented times it would be remiss to not address the impact of the global pandemic on our borough.  Covid-19 has impacted on each of the priority areas set out in this plan already and its continued impact will be considered as the live action plans for each priority theme evolve.


The plan seeks to build on what has already been achieved and give greater emphasis to prevention and reducing harm. Overall, our aim remains to reduce the amount of anti-social behaviour and the number of crimes which occur in the Maidstone borough and the harm caused. However, some crimes, for example domestic abuse, are historically under-reported and so our aim is to create an environment where people are confident to come forward and report it.


This will ensure we have a more accurate picture, and can use our resources to reduce the threat, risk and harm for the most vulnerable members of our community.


We all have a responsibility to prevent crime and disorder from happening in the first place – SMP partners will work not only with each other but also with communities to achieve this, as well as tackling crime and disorder when it occurs. The Safer Maidstone Partnership will work to strengthen community cohesion as part of its community safety role, protecting the vulnerable and supporting our communities by creating  a borough where people feel safe and are safe.



Community safety in Maidstone is not the sole responsibility of one agency or body. Regulation requires that we form a Community Safety Partnership (CSP) made up of ‘responsible authorities’; those agencies with a duty participate, as well as other interested bodies from across the borough and beyond.  The CSP work to implement and deliver initiatives that will help keep Maidstone borough a safe place to live, work, learn and visit. 


In Maidstone, the Safer Maidstone Partnership (SMP) is the name given to Maidstone’s CSP, who work collectively to protect the vulnerable, pursue those who do not respect our borough or the law and to raise awareness of priority themes that the data we collect and the people we speak to say are the areas that threaten our communities the most.  This refreshed version of the 2019-2022 CSP Plan is a continuation of previous plans, building on 20 years of work by the partnership, tackling crime and improving safety in the borough.


The SMP, which is co-chaired by Alison Broom, Chief Executive of Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) and Chief Inspector Gary Woodward of Kent Police, is made up of responsible authorities (those bodies for whom membership of the CSP is a statutory obligation) and many community, voluntary and private sector partners. Collectively we work to deliver the CSP Plan, forming specialist sub-groups and measurable action plans that deliver against high level outcomes for each of the priority themes. 







Safer Maidstone Partnership Priority Setting:

What data we used and what it told us:

The SMP has a duty to produce an annual strategic assessment to measure our performance against priority performance areas under the CSP Plan 2019-22 and other crime and disorder issues in the borough.  It gathers research, evidence and intelligence from local and Kent-wide sources, as well as drawing upon the professional expertise of those working at District level. 

The data provided by Kent Police is recognised for its high ethical standard of crime recording. Whilst longer term data comparison is challenging, due to changes in the way crime was recorded compared to historical data on their previous system, the data is now building on the new police system which we enable us to develop analysis of the data to see what trends exist.

What people told us:

The 2017 Resident’s Survey captured individual’s perceptions or feelings of safety.  These can be influenced by a number of factors which may or may not relate to whether someone has been a victim of crime. 

The survey received 2350 responses; most respondents (66%) said that “a clean and safe environment” was the most important of our Council priorities to them. It also showed that whilst in general our residents feel safe in the borough with 93% of people saying they feel very safe or fairly safe in their home and 94% people said that they felt safe in their local area in the day.  Whilst less people said they felt safe in their local area at night (60%).   

Residents also provided information about their fears of specific crimes which we can link to wider CSP issues; 46% of respondents were concerned about someone breaking into their home and 56% were worried about being a victim of fraud or identity theft.  We know that burglary and rogue trading, a type of fraud, are common amongst serious organised crime groups and that burglary is also often used to fund dependencies associated with substance misuse. 

Some residents (29%) are worried about being attacked or assaulted.  A further 38% are worried about being pestered or insulted in the street.  These can be linked to substance misuse, mental health issues or general Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB), but can also be linked to domestic abuse, with 50% violent crime not occurring in a public place. 

Overall, the survey showed that residents support the need to continue to actively work towards reducing and preventing crimes in our community.  More information on the resident survey results is available here

In 2020 MBC undertook a survey in relation to the impact of the pandemic. Alongside an increased impact on mental health (52% negative impact), other factors such as anxiety about being outside, financial pressures due to employment issues and fear associated with the virus itself have impacted many people in our communities. 

MBC’s Strategic Plan 2019-2045 includes Safe, Clean and Green as a priority. Within the Strategic Plan it identifies that, between 2019-2024, particular importance will be placed on improving community safety by working with our partners to make people less vulnerable to crime. 

Local Community Safety Considerations:

The borough of Maidstone covers 40,000 hectares and is situated in the heart of Kent. The borough’s population of over 171,000 is the largest in Kent with approximately 75% of its population living in urban areas and is strategically located between the Channel Ports and London, with direct connections to both via the M20 and M2 motorways. Maidstone is the county town of Kent and hosts one of the largest retail centres in the South East and is serviced by three central railway stations which connect to London, the coast and to the Medway towns. It also boasts one of the largest night-time economies in the county.  The town itself now benefits from the introduction of the Maidstone’s Business Improvement District which, alongside a growing MaidSafe community, works in partnership with the police, local authorities and local businesses to reduce business crime in Maidstone, increase trade and make Maidstone a safer environment for its staff, customers and visitors.

Where our borough is located and our economy, including the sheer number of visitors the borough has throughout the year, are all factors that are considered as part of our priority setting. 

Direct links to London and the Medway towns provide fantastic connectivity for people who live and work in the borough, however they  also provide opportunities for criminals who exploit these networks to access vulnerable people and places in our borough.  A direct example of this is the threat of County Line gangs who use the rail networks to illegally distribute and deal dangerous drugs from one city/town to another.

Geographical breakdowns of crime types is now being developed alongside other partner data.  This will improve identification of to trends and concerns raised in both urban and rural communities. To support this with a local narrative, the Community Safety team, in 2021, introduced “Ward Cluster” meetings. In these meetings, elected members from, up to 4 similar, wards meet with representatives of the SMP to discuss their Community Safety concerns and to work collaboratively with the SMP to deliver against an agreed plan for their areas.  The clusters have been created using wards that are neighbouring, with similar demographics and concerns. 


Priority Setting- 2021 Update:

The SMP sets the priorities for the CSP Plan based on the analysis and interpretation of the data and survey information analysed through the strategic assessment.

Analysis of the data and professional input from the existing sub-groups in the 2021 Strategic Analysis supports the SMP Priorities set out in the 2019-2022 Community Safety Plan. These priorities remain as:

·      Protecting our communities against serious, violent and organised crime (including modern-day slavery)

·      Keeping children and young people safe

·      Reducing the harm caused by domestic abuse (including stalking)

·      Reducing the impact of substance misuse on our community

·      Safeguarding people whose mental health makes them vulnerable to becoming a victim or where it leads to an impact on the wider community

The global pandemic has had a significant impact on how front-line services have operated and how people have behaved.  The combined impact of reduced contact with the public, significant limitations on travel and social contact, and closure and strict restrictions in public spaces and recreational spaces, is that almost all services have seen unprecedented shifts in demand. As a result, the data for the last year, analysed in the 2021 Strategic Assessment, is considered highly irregular.  Observations and analysis have considered the context of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on ‘normal’ day-to-day life.

Rather than focus on Covid-19 as a single specific priority or risk to community safety, the impact of the pandemic on each of the priority areas will be considered as the live action plans for each priority theme evolve.

In addition to these priorities, work will continue around the Government driven Prevent duty and the general duty to reduce ASB as cross-cutting themes. Reducing reoffending will also be a core part of the work undertaken by each sub-group. 

The priorities identified for Maidstone borough are reflective of those identified across the county and collated by the Kent Community Safety Partnership in the ‘Kent Community Safety Agreement’ (KCSA).  They also link to the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) ‘Safer in Kent Plan 2017-22*’.   An illustration of the KCSA and PCC Plan priorities is provided in Appendix 1

*refreshed annually


Safer Maidstone Partnership Governance:

The success of the SMP is linked to the work of its sub-groups and the leadership of its Executive Board and Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  This section, supported by the diagram in Appendix 2, describes how the Partnership works as a structured entity and how it delivers its community safety priorities through the work of its sub-groups. 

Safer Maidstone Partnership Executive Group (SMPEG):

The Safer Maidstone Partnership Executive Group (SMPEG) works with all other strategic boards in the borough. It offers strategic governance to ensure high quality and cost-effective services are provided within the borough. The key functions of the executive group are to:

·         Provide strategic leadership and vision to make Maidstone a safer borough

·         Be a strategic driver, working with all partners to support the direction of the partnership

·         Deliver sustainable Community Safety Strategy (CSS) priorities and any relevant targets arising from these priorities

·         Deliver statutory responsibilities held by the SMPEG

·         Have oversight, receive and agree funds and funding applications relating to community safety within Maidstone

Crime and Disorder Committee:

Under the Crime and Disorder (Overview and Scrutiny) Regulations 2009, every local authority is required to have in place a Crime and Disorder Committee.  The Committee is empowered to review, scrutinise and make recommendations regarding the work of the responsible authorities regarding their crime and disorder functions. The Communities, Housing and Environment Committee undertake the role of the Crime and Disorder Committee at specified meetings throughout the year.  MBC Elected Members are also invited to ‘Members Briefings’ and training sessions, where specialist training is provided to support members in their understanding of the priorities themselves and the work that is being undertaken to address them.

Safer Maidstone Partnership:

The SMP is responsible for:

·         Delivering CSP strategic priorities and any relevant targets arising from these priorities on behalf of the SMPEG

·         Fulfilling statutory responsibilities held by the SMPEG

·         Responding to other issues relating to community safety, which include those that may arise, from government policies or other developments


SMP Subgroups:

The Partnership is structured so that it has  subgroups  to develop, co-ordinate and deliver the activities to achieve the outcomes for each of the priority themes. Each sub-group is responsible for:

·         Producing an annual action plan containing measurable activities and indicators

·         Ensuring that there are resources available to deliver these plans

·         Submitting funding applications to obtain additional resources where required

The nature of some of the work is such that it is difficult to measure or show a direct impact of the work undertaken.  For example, it is not possible to measure how many people are able to avoid an abusive relationship after an awareness raising event but we are able to measure the usage of the ’one-stop-shop’ for people seeking further advice and assistance with domestic abuse. 

For each priority theme an action plan will be agreed that has:

·         A high-level outcome which set out what the Partnership is aiming to achieve

·         Indicators which measure trends in associated behaviours, crimes, service usage, etc

·         A series of measurable actions that the partnership believes will achieve the higher-level outcome

Using the same example, one such action is to ensure that temporal and geographical data from the ‘one-stop-shop’ usage is reviewed to ensure it is available to those at risk but might not be able to visit the current town centre location.  The potential is to have ‘pop-up’ sessions if the review finds it to be necessary.

It has been agreed that the CSP governance structure for 2020/21 will not have specific working groups for mental health or substance misuse, although consideration is being given to reintroducing the substance misuse forum. 

For mental health it was agreed that there were already strategic and operational meetings which focus on this area of work and therefore the creation of a group for the SMP was unnecessary. The weekly Community Safety and Vulnerability Group (CSVG) provides an opportunity to help the most vulnerable and to gather grass roots intelligence that help partners to understand any growing trends.  In the absence of a specific subgroup the terms of reference for the CSVG have been reviewed to maximise its effectiveness. 

During the first two years of this plan it was felt that the substance misuse did not require a specific sub-group.  As our partnership develops with KCC Public Health, Change Grow Live and other partners, conversations have started around reintroducing a new partnership meeting.  With substance misuse often an underlying factor in the concerns raised by the other subgroups, such as ‘Keeping children and young people safe’, where substance misuse is identified as a particular area of concern, the work of those sub groups will also include actions for the substance misuse theme and will be developed into conversations in any new group as it emerges. 


Appendix 3 provides a summary of the sub-groups and working groups that work in each of the priority areas. 

Each sub-group is also responsible for ensuring that equalities analysis is carried out to ensure that their plans conform to duties under the Equalities Act 2010.

The Maidstone Task Force

In September 2020 the Maidstone Task Force was launched.  Following an uplift in staffing for Kent Police, the decision was taken to utilise resources to provide the framework for an exciting new multi-agency task force for Maidstone.  As one of the largest districts in Kent, it was recognised that some areas in Maidstone have disproportionate levels of crime, social/economic deprivation and health inequality.  The Task Force’s objective is to seek to redress these imbalances, to work with those communities to provide resilience and long-term/permanent improvements.

The taskforce built on the existing strengths of the Safer Maidstone Partnership and a multi-agency team has now been established to provide enhanced joined up solutions to complex multi factorial problems.

Albeit there have been challenges as a result of the pandemic, the implementation phase of the project saw the creation of a new collaborative workspace within Maidstone House.  The space, which without social distancing restrictions will house up to 25 people from across the partnership, will form a Community Safety collaboration hub for both the task force focus and the borough as a whole. 

The first focus area selected for the task force was the combined wards of Shepway South and Shepway North. Analysis of the available crime data revealed high levels of ASB, particularly around the shops and in housing blocks, and Domestic Abuse in both Wards.   Analysis of the health data revealed that residents in the wards:

·         had a lower life expectancy and fewer healthy years lived than the national average and other parts of the borough (Male and Female)

·         were more likely to die prematurely (Coronary Heart Disease, Cardiovascular disease, Cancer)

·         experienced higher rates of mental illness

·         represented greater proportion of residents claiming benefits than the national average

·         had the highest A&E attendance and admission rates for the borough

Delivery in the focus areas is centred around “Building Community Engagement and Cohesion”.  Using a problem-solving model, known as OSARA, the task force is taking a partnership approach to challenging some of the social norms that are particular to the wards.  Tackling ASB in partnership with Golding Homes, who have provided a dedicated officer into the task force, has already seen some improvements in the area according to residents.

Linked Boards

Although there is no longer a requirement for Local Strategic Boards, the Partnership and its officers are just one of a number of strategic and statutory groups across the borough where cross-cutting themes are discussed. Where possible the priority themes of this plan will be carried through into these groups to ensure that community safety priorities are embedded in other partnership strategies and in turn, those strategies are taken into account in both the CSP Plan and the work of the Partnership.

Protecting our communities against serious, violent and organised crime (including modern-day slavery):

Why is this important?

Serious and organised crime cost the UK billions of pounds each year and pose a risk to both our communities and our national security.  This can clearly be seen in the rise in violent crime and knife crime on a local and national level.  The Serious Violence Strategy (2018) recognises that a range and powers are held by agencies, such as local authorities, that play a vital role in supporting the police to disrupt serious and organised crime activities in the borough. Organised Crime Groups (OCG) are groups of individuals involved in serious or organised crime for personal gain. Crime is often regarded as their ‘occupation’. The work of the SMP can often disrupt OCGs activity, particularly targeting those outside the protected core. Serious organised crime, whilst often linked to OCGs, can also be undertaken by individuals exploiting opportunities and vulnerabilities to undertake criminal activities for gain. These can be broad ranging from burglary though to gang related activities, such as moving drugs (County Lines) into the borough or exploiting women sexually.      

In Maidstone, we have an established Serious and organised Crime Panel (SOCP).  The Panel meets regularly to tackle the threat, risk and harm of serious organised crime through a coordinated approach.  Over the last year the SOCP have worked to actively disrupt four OCGs in both rural and urban areas, where their activities have threatened vulnerable people and the environment.  Work has also disrupted repeat offenders of organised crime.

Working with the Kent Violence Reduction Unit, SMP partners will look to use analytical data and intelligence to put in place support, diversions and actions that will reduce violence in young people, particularly in relation to knife crime. 

SMP ObjectiveThe SMP will protect our communities from the illegal practices of serious organised crime groups.

What is our focus?

The SOCP has adopted the national SOC 4Ps framework, which from a local perspective, means that in relation to OCGs and crime series:

Pursue: prosecuting and disrupting criminal activity

Prevent: deterring individuals, including reducing reoffending

Protect: helping communities protect themselves against SOC

Prepare: manage the impact or consequence of SOC to protect communities

Year 3 - What will we do?

The SOCP will refresh its action plan to help deliver on our SMP Objective.  Actions from the plan will include:

·         Support the reopening of the NTE as lockdown restrictions are lifted.

·         Work to disrupt a new OCG relating to drugs/money laundering with links in and around the town centre. 

·         Work with partners to identify and disrupt illegal puppy farms and unlicensed breeders.

Reducing the harm caused by domestic abuse (including stalking):

Why is this important?

Domestic abuse is broadly described as any incident(s) of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members. The abuse can be, but is not limited to psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional.

The Domestic Abuse Act became law in April 2021 and places new duties on local authorities to help tackle domestic abuse. In two-tier areas, such as Kent, the lead authority is Kent County Council and Maidstone Borough Council officers are taking an active role on the Kent Domestic Abuse Partnership Board and through the Maidstone Domestic Abuse Forum to help shape the new Kent-wide Domestic Abuse Strategy and develop services for people experiencing domestic abuse. In addition, staff have been updated on changes made to the homelessness legislation brought about by the introduction of the Domestic Abuse Act, which will be reflected in the review of the Council’s new Housing Strategy due to be adopted in late 2021

SMP Objective:  The SMP will ensure that all communities residing in the borough can live their lives in safety without the fear or harm caused by domestic abuse.

What is our focus?

The continued increases in reporting and attendance at the ‘one-stop-shop’ indicates that the SMP should prioritise supporting the victims of domestic abuse through the provision of local services like MARAC, Sanctuary and IDVA. 

The partnership needs to find new innovative ways to raise awareness so that people can seek advice and are confident in reporting abuse when it occurs.  The increase of victims coming forward should not be seen as a negative as we need victims to continue to come forward so that we can determine the full extent of the issue within our borough. 

We will support children who witness domestic abuse in their home and through our Keeping Children and Young People Safe group will promote safer relationships, helping young people make better choices and increasing their confidence to report issues.

Year 3 - What will we do?

The Domestic Abuse Forum will refresh their action plan to deliver on our SMP Objective.  New actions for the plan will include:

·      Support the roll out of Domestic Abuse Champions across Maidstone and Kent in partnership with Kent Independent Domestic Abuse Services


·      Deliver more awareness raising events, such a Cradle to Grave, that target nurseries, schools and professionals who will be less aware of the impact of Domestic Abuse  


Keeping children and young people safe:

Why is this important?

We know that some of our children and young people live in abusive and violent households and some are affected by drugs and alcohol.  We also know that many are confident and driven.  Young people are often affected by issues across our priority themes which affect them more deeply, causing longer term damage.  We must safeguard our young people from individuals that intend to cause them harm through the supply of drugs and sexual exploitation (CSE).  We must also challenge growing trends such as knife crime, serious youth violence and the impact of gang culture in our young people.  

In Maidstone, cannabis use continues in our young people is high and has increased steadily over the last 8 years. For young people, cannabis is more readily available than alcohol but can be expensive, resulting in more young people becoming involved in offending to fund their drug use.

There also remains a concern that the behaviour of some of our young people puts individuals and communities at risk and that increases in our young people’s own fear is leading to a worrying national trend of carrying knives for safety. 

SMP Objective:  The SMP we will protect our young people from those that put them at risk.

What is our focus?

Through the District Contextual Safeguarding Meeting (DCSM), as part of the  Adolescent Risk Management structure, SMP Partners will continue to work collaboratively to identify individuals and locations of concern and put in place  support for individuals and undertake location assessments to identify opportunities to provide contextual safeguarding in areas of concern.  Where necessary, individuals, groups and places will be escalated to a Complex Adolescent Risk Meeting (CARM) for further support.  With no “home grown” gang in Maidstone, vigilance is needed to ensure our young people are aware of the threat posed by London and other Kent based gangs, gang culture itself and the associated CSE/substance misuse issues. We must also identify and divert the activities of disruptive groups of young people within our communities where their behaviour causes an increase in the fear of crime.   

The SMP will also ensure the DCSM feeds into the revamped Local Children’s Partnership Group “Reconnect” strategy and utilise funding opportunities provided by the VRU to reduce violence in young people

Year 3 - What will we do?

The DCSM will update their action plan to help deliver on our SMP Objective.  Actions from the revised plan will include:

·      Introduce the new “My Place” initiative, supporting young people whose families are placed in Maidstone as a result of violent or gang related concerns which had been delayed by the pandemic

·      Use the results of the Voice of Young Maidstone survey to guide the professionals and parents in the borough in protecting young

·      Implement new initiatives to support parents, including Caring Dads and DICE training

Reduce the impact of substance misuse on our community:

Why is this important?

People who misuse drugs, alcohol or other substances cause considerable harm to themselves and to our communities. The harm they cause is not only their own physical and mental health but can also impact on the wellbeing of their families. The communities in which they live can also be harmed through crime, disorder and ASB associated with substance misuse.  The impact of substance misuse across each of the priorities has led to this area being kept as a priority, not just a cross-cutting theme. It has been agreed that whilst it is not necessary to have a specific sub-group for this theme in itself, there is still a need for an action plan that can be delivered through specific teams and through the work of Serious Organised Crime Panel (gangs and supply chains) and Youth Safety sub-groups (cannabis, cigarette and alcohol abuse in young people).

SMP Objective: The Safer Maidstone Partnership will encourage people to seek the support to overcome addiction, particularly those who are part of ‘high risk’ cohorts.

What is our focus?

The Serious Organised Crime Panel, and associated policing teams, will play a key role in ensuring that drugs and illicit substances are difficult, if not impossible to find in Maidstone.  Where this extends to illicit tobacco, relationships are being put in place with KCC Trading Standards to undertake joint action to rid the borough of this illegal trade.   For the DCSM, there will be a focus on ensuring that our young people are reminded of the dangers that exist, particularly in relation to gangs and County Lines trafficking. We will build on the success of the Housing First project in supporting our street homeless, particularly those individuals that are the hardest to engage, to assist them accessing the support they need to overcome their addictions. A new project will be launched to help reach treatment-resistant drinkers and we will change the way the enforcement of the current Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for drinking is enforced to empower officers to tackle people who are drinking and are anti-social in a public place. 

Year 3 - What will we do?

The Community Protection Team on behalf of the Safer Maidstone Partnership will develop an action plan to help deliver on our SMP Objective across the sub-groups and services.  Actions from the plan will include:

·      Improving partnership working with public health leads including considering reintroduction of a Substance Misuse Forum

·      Revisit the powers available to disrupt the illegal sale of tobacco/alcohol including closure orders

·      Support the introduction of the Safer Socialising Scheme

·      Review the substance misuse responses to the Voice of Young Maidstone Survey and adapt services as necessary

Safeguard people whose mental health makes them vulnerable to becoming a victim or where it leads to an impact on the wider community:

Why is this important?

The mental health of our residents can be affected greatly by the behaviour of others, particularly where the behaviour goes unchallenged.  Whether that is the behaviour of inconsiderate neighbours or a coercive and/or controlling partner, the impact can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life.  Mental Health concerns can lead to people targeting their vulnerability and abusing them for financial or other forms of gain. People with mental health concerns can also be the cause of anti-social behaviour themselves, which affects others or a wider community.  They can also become isolated, lose their support network and neglect their own care. 

Mental health, like substance misuse, cuts across all our priority themes and is a growing concern in Maidstone with more police and local authority investigations containing concerns about the mental health of either the victim or the perpetrator. This is evident in the weekly Community Safety and Vulnerability Group (CSVG) where an estimated 75% of cases relate to Mental Health for either the perpetrator or the victim.

Across the priority themes there are also cohorts, like our young people, the victims of domestic abuse and those who misuse substances, that are experiencing higher prevalence of mental health problems.

SMP Objective:  The Safer Maidstone Partnership will work to reduce the community impact of Mental Health, particularly where a person’s poor mental health results in them being either the cause or the victim of anti-social behaviour or crime.

What is our focus?

The CSVG will continue to meet weekly to support the most vulnerable in our community.  We will look to introduce a steering group for vulnerability to oversee the CSVG and support its work and identify trends that need more support.  Across the Priority Themes we will ensure the mental health of the vulnerable is protected from activities and behaviours that threaten to cause harm. 

Year 3 - What will we do?

The Community Safety Unit, including the Community Protection Team, will develop a revised action plan to help deliver on our SMP Objective across the sub-groups, the CSVG and relevant services. The action plan will include:

·      Host an awareness raising summit that ensures partners are aware of the signs and dangers of self-neglect in the community

·      Engage in pilot of a ‘Co-occurring Conditions’ Multi-Disciplinary Team for people who have Mental Health and Substance Misuse Issues from January 2021

·      Work with the CCG to ensure sustainable funding for mental health services for homeless/rough sleeping people


Appendix 1- Priorities & cross cutting themes for the CSA and the PCC:


Source= Kent Community Safety Partnership ‘Kent Community Safety Plan- April 2018’

Appendix 2- Safer Maidstone Partnership Structure and Priorities:



Appendix 3- Summary of the sub-groups and working groups that work in each of the priority areas:


Priority Theme

Sub-groups and Working Groups delivering the action plans

(not an exhaustive list)

Protecting our communities against serious and organised crime (including modern slavery)

· Serious & Organised Crime Panel

· Kent Environmental Crime Waste Practitioners Group

Reducing the harm caused by domestic abuse

· Domestic Abuse Forum

· Vulnerable Investigation Team Professionals meeting for repeat victims

Keeping Children and Young People Safe

· District Contextual Safeguarding Meeting (DSCM), with escalation to Complex Adolescent Risk Meetings

· Maidstone Local Children's Partnership Group

· Adolescent Risk Management panel

Reducing the impact of Substance Misuse on our community

· As part of DCSM

· The work of the Community Protection, Homeless Outreach with Change Live Grow (CGL) and Licensing teams

Reducing the impact of Mental Health on our community

· Community Safety and Vulnerability Group and its steering group

· MBC Safeguarding Board



Appendix 4- Glossary of terms and acronyms:


ASB = Anti-Social Behaviour

IOM = Integrated Offender Management

CCG = Clinical Commissioning Group

KCC = Kent County Council

CDAP = Community Domestic Abuse Programme

KSSCRC = Kent Surrey & Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company

CDRP = Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership

MARAC = Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference

CARMs= Complex Adolescent Risk Meetings

MBC = Maidstone Borough Council

CGL = Change, Grow, Live (West Kent Drug & Alcohol Wellbeing Service in Maidstone)

Modern-day slavery= Human trafficking– involves transporting, recruiting or harbouring people for the purpose of exploitation, using violence, threats or coercion.

County Lines= County lines commonly involves the illegal distribution and dealing of seriously dangerous drugs from one city/town to another.

NPS = National Probation Service or New Psychoactive Substances depending on context

CSE = Child Sexual Exploitation

OCG = Organised Crime Group

CSP = Community Safety Partnership

One Stop Shop= Drop in service for victims of Domestic Violence.

CSU = Community Safety Unit

PCC = Police & Crime Commissioner

CSVG= Community Safety and Vulnerability Group

PSPO = Public Space Protection Order

DA = Domestic Abuse

SMP = Safer Maidstone Partnership

DCSM = District Contextual Safeguarding Meeting

SMPE= Safer Maidstone Partnership Executive Group

IDVA = Independent Domestic Violence Advisor

VRU = Violence Reduction Meeting





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 and are safe’