Published 28 January 2019

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Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott has met with other elected officials as part of his ongoing discussions with people across Kent and Medway.
On January 24, he was in Ditton with Kent Police Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Faulconbridge to speak to 16 representatives of parish councils from across the county. The councillors talked about local policing issues, welcomed improvements to Kent Police’s 101 non-emergency service and discussed Mr Scott’s proposal to invest additional council tax receipts in enabling the Chief Constable to recruit another 180 full-time warranted police officers in 2019/20.
Mr Scott said:

‘I have made 101 a priority and so it was good to be able to assure councillors that taxpayers’ money I invested in more call-handlers for the Kent Police Force Control Room last year has had the desired effect. The force receives in excess of 30,000 non-urgent calls via 101 a month yet the average waiting time to speak to a member of police staff is down to around 90 seconds.
‘Where possible, I continue to encourage people to go online as many routine contacts with Kent Police do not even require a phone call. More and more people are choosing to visit the force website to have their policing questions answered and to report non-urgent crimes.’

Two days earlier, Mr Scott had been in Westminster where he heard the views of six Kent MPs.
The PCC added:

‘It was good to catch up with Tracey Crouch, Charlie Elphicke, Sir Michael Fallon, Helen Grant, Damian Green and Helen Whatley over the course of the morning. These are really useful opportunities to discuss local constituency issues and wider matters such as police funding, county lines, rural crime, town centres, visible policing and the ongoing recruitment campaign.
‘All those I met with were pleased to hear that Kent Police now has around 270 more police officers than when I came into office, and that the force’s 300 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) are being retained.
‘But still, the message I heard loud and clear was that people want to see even more visible policing in their communities. My proposal around the council tax will help meet that request, and ensure Kent Police has the resources it needs to keep our communities safe.’