Published 30 April 2018

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Matthew Scott has congratulated Sajid Javid on being appointed Home Secretary today, and extended to him an open invitation to visit Kent.

In a letter to the Home Office, the Police and Crime Commissioner Mr Scott wrote:

'Many congratulations on your appointment as Home Secretary. I very much look forward to working with you to help keep the residents of Kent and Medway safe and secure.

'I wish to extend an open invitation, together with the Chief Constable, to visit the county and see some of the outstanding work that is going on to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour, put victims’ needs first, and bring to justice those who are targeting vulnerable people.'

Mr Scott, who has invested additional money from Kent's council tax precept in new officers, added:

'These are exciting times for Kent Police, as the force embarks on the biggest recruitment drive in its history. Thanks to the Government’s support through the awarding of council tax precept powers, use of reserves, savings from my office and even greater value for money being provided by Kent Police, we are recruiting an extra 200 police officers this year. This will mean that, since I was elected in May 2016, there will be more than 250 more cops in Kent by March 2019.

'We’re also protecting our vital PCSO posts, and I will ensure that there will in fact be a dozen more than when I was elected.
'These extra posts are vital as we seek to address the challenges that policing faces in 2018. Around one third of police time is spent dealing with cases involving mental health, which is not always the right response for the individual in need, and not fair on the police officers who were trained to fight crime, not act as mental health professionals. Due to our proximity to London, Kent Police is tackling the gang-related problems of violence and drugs that is coming into our county from the capital and other areas.'

Mr Scott proudly highlighted that anti-social behaviour fell by 13% in Kent in 2017 and that Kent Police has consistently been awarded good and outstanding gradings by the independent inspectorate. But, stressing there was no room for complacency, he added:

'We are a vastly rural and coastal community, which means that the Chief Constable and I will be boosting our response to these challenges.'