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Issue 02

Town centre policing success Safer Kent Awards

First person... PC Martin Pemble


The job


Contents Welcome

to the second issue of the new quarterly edition of the Kent Police magazine The Relay. This version is produced for former officers and staff who want to keep in touch with what is happening across the force. In this edition we highlight the creation of the joint Kent and Essex Police Serious Crime Directorate and how the force is making excellent use of the Proceeds of Crime Act to seize criminals’ assets. We also look at the Safer Kent Awards which celebrated those going the extra mile to make a difference in communities throughout the county. On the sporting front Kent staff have claimed a top cycling prize, taken to the ring to referee a key boxing match and are lined up for an important role in the forthcoming Olympics. As usual we also include the letters page which usually inspires some interesting correspondence from around the county and beyond. If you have anything you’d like to say please send your letters to or The Relay Editor, South Block, Force Headquarters, Maidstone, Kent, ME15 9BZ.

From the editor Editorial and production: Lee Steel, Maria Porter, Nicola Morgan Design and art direction: Polly Alpin and Neil Cooper

No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission from the editor.

News P3-4

Recent news in Kent

The job P5-6

Stories from around the county

Features P7-8 P9

Safer Kent Awards First person PC Martin Pemble

Extras P10

Your letters



News UK’s largest unit tackling organised crime With more than 1,100 officers and staff, the new Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate will be the largest unit under a single command in the UK dedicated to tackling serious and organised crime. It is headed by Assistant Chief Constable Alan Pughsley, who will be an ACC in both forces. His deputy is Detective Chief Superintendent Gareth Wilson from Essex Police. It was officially launched in the summer with a joint Kent and Essex operation to target criminals using the M25 and Dartford crossing. ANPR intercept teams from both forces worked throughout the day with a number of successes, including the arrest of a London-based criminal in a stolen vehicle taken the previous day. The stop and arrest was captured on camera by TV news crews from BBC and ITV Meridian who were covering the operation. ACC Pughsley said: ’The launch of the Serious Crime Directorate gives us a fantastic opportunity to target those criminals causing us the most harm in both Kent and Essex. I am delighted to be leading such dedicated and talented teams and believe the hard work of all those involved will put us at the forefront of policing serious and organised crime in the UK.’

Officers tackle a slippery customer This snake caused something of a stir when it decided to go for a slither along a busy residential road. A concerned member of the public called police after spotting ‘a big red snake’ in Valley Drive, Gravesend. Patrol officers managed to catch it using a dog lead and plastic evidence bag. Luckily PC James Weston, who keeps snakes, was able to identify it as a harmless red corn snake. Efforts to trace its owner failed so a storage tank was found and the snake spent a peaceful night at North Kent Police Station until the RSPCA picked it up for rehoming the next morning. PCs Robert Grieve, Roberto Capozzi and Michael Fenton with the snake

Protecting and serving the people of Kent

The Relay extra – Issue 02


News Kent among top forces countrywide for seizing criminals’ assets Kent Police is one of the top police forces successfully using Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) legislation to take criminals to court and seize, confiscate or forfeit any profits from crime. In the final quarter of 2009/2010, the force received £312,229 from the Home Office’s Asset Recovery Incentivisation (ARIS) scheme – the fourth highest figure returned back to police forces nationally. For the 2009/2010 financial year, Kent received £736,369 – placing the force eighth nationally. ARIS is used by the Home Office to return money to forces which have confiscated assets post criminal conviction (police receive 18.75 per cent of total amount), or cash forfeiture (police receive 50 per cent), which can take place even if someone has not been convicted of a criminal offence. For cash forfeiture, Kent accounted for 17 per cent, £2.2million, of the £12.4million recorded nationally among 43 police forces for the 2010/11 financial year to September 2010. In the next few months, the force will have half of this figure – more than £1 million – returned by the Home Office to invest in local policing. Detective Inspector Mark Fairhurst, of the Serious Economic Crime Unit, said: ‘Police forces have the additional tool of the Proceeds of Crime Act to recover profits from crime, even if that person has not been convicted. The power of the legislation that sits behind this ensures criminals leave the justice system without benefiting from the crimes they commit. Not only is “crime doesn’t pay” an effective message, but the money taken from the criminal is then used to support policing in disrupting further criminality.’ Money stashed around a toilet cistern in a recent case. The defendant claimed it was for insulation

Campaign to equip key buildings with life saving equipment The force is supporting an initiative to raise £25,000 for 20 automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) to be introduced in key police buildings and in some emergency response vehicles as part of a pilot in East Kent. Chief Constable Ian Learmonth is supporting the fundraising, which is being co-ordinated for the force by Paul Abdey, from the Tactical Medicine Unit at Kent Police College. Paul said: ‘The ability to provide emergency medical care with AEDs in police vehicles is in no way intended to replace the vital support of the ambulance service, but will instead help when the police are the first emergency service to attend the scene of an incident and immediate medical intervention is required.’ The British Heart Foundation will be holding fundraising events, which started with a display at the Kent County Show, supported by Paul and Kim Brophy, Appeal Manager at the British Heart Foundation. So far around £6,000 has been raised.

Protecting and serving the people of Kent

Kim Brophy and Paul Abdey

The Relay extra – Issue 02


The job Detective awarded Queen’s Police Medal Detective Inspector David Holmes has been awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for his outstanding work in tackling serious and organised crime. During 26 years service he’s been responsible for ground breaking work targeting organised crime groups exploiting Kent borders and been at the forefront of successful investigations into trafficking, drugs and firearms importations and other organised crime. His innovative tactics gained the force a Home Office award for tackling drugs in 2005, followed in 2007 with the ‘Tackling drugs, saving lives’ Home Office award. Detective Superintendent Dick Lennon said: ‘I’ve witnessed first hand Dave’s total professionalism, dedication and inspiring leadership. He works in a part of policing that requires the continuous management of risk which invariably on a daily basis impacts on his private life. I cannot think of one occasion when he has not dealt with an emergent situation or difficult issue without grace, humour and a real zest for delivering a successful outcome. I know he will be keen to highlight the great work of his team, however this is a individual honour he greatly deserves.’ Det Insp Holmes said: ‘I’ve worked with some outstanding officers and colleagues who have made my own job much easier than it might have been. I’ve also worked for some excellent managers at key stages in my career who’ve given me opportunities and their full support in developing operations and initiatives.’

PC reunites owner with special watch lost 10 years ago A gold watch given as a 21st birthday present which was stolen 10 years ago is back where it belongs thanks to a little luck and some quick thinking by neighbourhood PC Becky Ballard. The story started on Friday 13 August when someone handed a watch they had found into West Malling police office. It had the first name of a woman and date engraved on the back, so PC Ballard decided to search for local residents of that name. She tracked down a woman who had been the victim of a burglary in July. Although the woman had not lost a gold watch in that burglary, she mentioned in passing that a gold watch she’d been given for her 21st birthday 20 years ago had been taken in a burglary ten years previously. Her birthday was the date engraved on the back. The woman, from Ryarsh, who thought she would never see the watch again, was thrilled to have it back, particularly as it was of great sentimental value. PC Ballard, pictured, said: ‘I have also passed on the good news to the people who found the watch and they were delighted to have been able to help. I’m glad that, although this lady had been a victim of burglary in the past, she can take comfort in the fact that her precious watch is now back in her possession.’

Protecting and serving the people of Kent

The Relay extra – Issue 02


The job Roads unit showcases UK policing on Belgium trip Four officers from Kent Police’s Roads Policing Unit represented UK police forces on a visit to Belgium. Sergeant Gary Easton and PC Steve Turner from the motorcycle team, and PCs Jamie Woodhams and David Kirk from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, were invited to the National Day celebrations, which coincided with Belgium starting a six-month presidency of the European Union. The team joined 14 other European police forces, the fire service and armed forces in a parade in Brussels attended by the King and Queen of Belgium, later taking their place in the ‘Police Village’ in Brussels, where all different types of police vehicles were assembled. PC Turner said: ‘This was an excellent opportunity to showcase unmarked bikes to the other European forces, who don’t have unmarked bikes of this type, and exchange ideas with European colleagues.

The Italian Police Liveried Lamborghini

‘The public and officers from other forces were impressed at how bright our vehicles are, as they don’t have the high viz and reflective that we have. There were a few comments that the unmarked bike was ‘not fair’, but the general reaction was one of envy at having such a brilliant piece of kit. We were sadly trumped by the Italian police who turned up in a fully police liveried Lamborghini Gallado!’ The trip was fully funded by the hosts.

Shop owner delighted with speedy PC When shop owner Ivan White spotted a man making off with camera equipment he was hoping for a speedy response from the police. What he never expected was for it all to be resolved in 15 minutes thanks to Maidstone Town PC Des Dalzell on his bike. (Pictured with Mr White) Mr White, of Ronald White Photographic in Pudding Lane had challenged the offender, who dropped two cameras and ran off. Realising more equipment had gone Mr White dialled 999 and PC Dalzell arrived with two support officers. He spotted the suspect, chased him into Medway Street, made an arrest and after a police car arrived was able to promptly return the goods, worth more than £2,500. Mr White said: ‘It was an amazing service and just goes to prove the response from police on their bikes is a force to be reckoned with.’ PC Dalzell said: ‘When he realised I wasn’t going to give up – and I don’t get tired on the bike like he would running – he gave up. It actually only took about five minutes.’

Protecting and serving the people of Kent

The Relay extra – Issue 02



Safer Kent Awards Police officers and staff, PCSOs, special constables, volunteers, young people and community wardens making a real difference to communities in Kent were honoured at the Safer Kent Awards hosted by Ann Barnes, chair of the Kent Police Authority, and Chief Constable Ian Learmonth. Winners received a £50 cheque for a community project of their choice.

Police Officer of the Year – PC Susan Luck As Anti-Social Behaviour Officer for Thanet for six years Sue has worked hard with colleagues and partner agencies to improve the quality of life for residents in one of Kent’s most deprived areas. Instrumental in securing Anti-Social Behaviour Orders against a gang of youths terrorising a local estate she also built a case to stop a young person responsible for burglaries targeted at vulnerable people. Sue helped deter young people within the gang from getting actively involved. She’s become the first port of call for colleagues and partner agencies. Her cheque goes to Thanet charity Pipeline. Runner up – PC John Boyden, West Kent

Outstanding Kent Police Staff Award – Dave Castle As head of Kent Police Emergency Planning Department for nine years Dave has been pivotal in planning for and overseeing emergencies within the county. Known for his technical expertise he’s described as the ‘right hand’ of Kent Police, playing a key role in incidents ranging from serious flooding, Channel Tunnel fires, Operation Stack, an earthquake in Folkestone, the major power failure in North Kent last year to a humanitarian assistance as a result of the volcanic eruption in Iceland. His cheque goes to Kent Search and Rescue Service. Runner up – Steve Howson

Police Community Support Officer of the Year – Tracy Brittenden, Dover Covering the difficult area of Dover, St Radigunds Tracy seized the opportunity when local children complained of having nothing to do and asked for street dance classes. Working with KCC Warden, Tony Gander, and Dominic Castle, a youth activities supplier, to find fundraisers, dance teachers and a venue, classes started in May. They were so popular 74 children turned up for one class. Anti-social behaviour has now dropped. Her cheque goes towards T-shirts for the street dance students. Runner up – Mike Keam, Whitstable

Special Constable of the Year – Ali Stiles and Rob Critcher, Tonbridge and Malling Ali and Rob are required to volunteer 16 hours a month. Instead they work 70 on average – four times the amount required – on top of full-time day jobs. They often remain at the end of their shift to help colleagues with paperwork. Both have shown their own initiative in a number of incidents. Their cheque goes to Demelza Hospice. Runner up – Lee Busher and Michael Walters, Maidstone Protecting and serving the people of Kent

The Relay extra – Issue 02


Feature Volunteer of the Year – Kent Search and Rescue Service The team offers a special service to police, RAF search and rescue units, other emergency services and councils countywide. The 45 search volunteers are on hand 365 days a year, providing a 24-hour call-out for emergencies and vulnerable missing person search reports. The group has trained in searching waterways and developed its own air scenting search dogs. During extreme snowstorms the volunteers spent more than 10 hours overnight to trace a missing boy. The group’s cheque goes to Kent Search and Rescue Service. Runner up – Urban Blue bus team, Maidstone

Team of the Year – Safe Exit Project, Medway A multi-agency project launched by Kent Police in Medway has helped dramatically reduce prostitution in New Road, Rochester. Those arrested can receive a package of care including housing support, drug treatment, training and educational support. The number of women working as prostitutes in Medway fell from 110 in August 2009 to less than 15 in June 2010. The team’s cheque goes to Caring Hands in the Community. Runner up – Kent County Council Wardens, Dover

Warden of the Year – Paul Croft, Lydd Kent County Council Community Warden Paul made a significant contribution to reducing anti-social behaviour when groups of up to a hundred congregated around ‘The Square.’ His close work with local police and fellow KCC warden Rick Stevens, have seen several initiatives, including the building of a new skateboard park. Paul’s cheque goes to The Dennes Lane Project. Runner up – Krissy Howlett, Goudhurst and Lamberhurst

Lifetime Achiever – Nigel Cruttenden Nigel, who joined Kent Police in 1971, has dedicated the majority of his career to improving the quality of life of Thanet residents. When he retired he joined the Thanet Community Safety Partnership, before returning to Kent Police to work as a licensing officer. He created a Thanet version of Operation Cubit and his original initiatives have helped launch projects like the multiagency ‘clean sweep’ scheme and today’s PACT – Partners And Community Together – meetings. Runner up – Sergeant Howard Chandler The Safer Kent awards are sponsored by Veolia Environmental Services, Kent People’s Trust, The co-operative, Kier, and mhs homes. Protecting and serving the people of Kent

Young Person of the Year – Carl Holt Last year Carl volunteered as Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator for Linton, but as he was only 15, the Parish Council was unsure. He persisted and it was agreed his mother would be co-ordinator with Carl as deputy. Giving around six hours a week his initiatives include four new ‘Neighbourhood Watch Area’ signs, circulating crime information via the internet, updating notice boards and publishing a monthly newsletter. His cheque goes to Linton Neighbourhood Watch. Runner up – Charley Pratt

The Relay extra – Issue 02


First person

e l b m e P n i t PC Marpersons search trainer Missing

‘Why, where and how’ are key questions PC Martin Pemble asks when searching for a missing person. Years as a dog handler sharpened his interest in the skills and behavioural insights needed to find vulnerable people swiftly. The West Kent neighbourhood officer has just completed a specialist Lost Person Behaviour – Train the Trainer course, led by one of the world’s missing persons experts, in Virginia’s massive Shenendoah National Park. ‘I have a thing about missing persons and have done for quite some time (to be fair I am well known for it). I was a dog handler for many years and my interest grew from there. When my dog Dax retired I still did search and rescue with him and got into search management, attending courses in places like North Wales to develop my skills. I also work with Kent Search and Rescue and helped Surrey Police with track back work relating to the offender – convicted last year – in the Millie Dowler investigation. Managing a land search is not just about starting from the place someone was last seen and using 50 people to fan out to look for them, particularly when resources can be limited. It is also about using the available stipulated data and trying to understand who the person is, what

they might be thinking, and predicting what their next move might be. There are 16 categories of missing persons and many combinations of events lead to them going missing. Trying to predict where a confused elderly person with Alzheimer’s may go is different to tracking an adult who wants to disappear, or a young person with autism.

We had one 16-year-old boy with autism – who had a mental age of three – who went missing a couple of times on Tunbridge Wells Common. Eventually he turned up hiding in a tree. He had a fixation with Toy Town and wanted to go to London. We managed to get him to hold a phone in his favourite colour and now have a good idea where he’ll be heading if he is reported missing again. I work with the National Autistic Society, gaining an insight into the way autistic people may think. There are between 8,000 and 12,000 missing persons reported in Kent each year. Many of our searches involve the two most vulnerable groups in society – the young and the elderly. At West Kent I set up a pre-plan system which gives us a head start for searches for repeat missing persons because their details are already logged.

It was run by Bob Koester, the world’s foremost advisor on missing persons behaviour and the collator of the International Search and Rescue Incident Database, something Kent Police is potentially looking to use in future. The train the trainers course means those attending can then deliver it to federal and law enforcement groups within the USA. The training involves classwork and visiting the scene of incidents and tracking what happened. This gave us a unique perspective into the decision making process involved. Using the park rangers who actually ran the searches, it was insightful to learn how individuals think and act. We also spent three evenings with the rangers ‘mantracking’ Ginseng poachers, a big problem in the park. The course, which I paid for myself, was very worthwhile and will add an extra dimension to my training sessions in Kent, particularly if we become one of the first forces in the country to submit data to the international database.

I’ve been involved in training with the Critical Stripes Programme and setting up Compact (the Community Policing and Case Tracking System) for Kent. The course I attended at the Blue Ridge School, University of Virginia, is just outside the Shenendoah National Park. It is huge – with both high and low lying areas and a 170 straight road through it – the perfect environment for missing persons training.

“Many of our searches involve vulnerable groups in society” Protecting and serving the people of Kent

The Relay extra – Issue 02


Your letters Excellent response to house breaking says former DCC Dear Sir,

I served as deputy chief of Kent in 1974, retiring as chief of Sussex in 1993. My wife died four years ago and I have a new partner, Susan Clements, who at one time worked for HMCIC at the Home Office. On 22 April she woke to find her house in Sevenoaks had been broken into and a handbag and other items stolen. She reported this to the local police. She also phoned me and I travelled straight down to Sevenoaks from London. Within a very short time crime scene investigator Sophie Neal arrived. I was most impressed by her level of professionalism and manner. A charming and well qualified young woman. Soon afterwards PC Andrew Mailing called to take details. Again I was most impressed by the way he went about his job. He provided not only sensible and useful information but did it in such a way that it provided reassurance. The final visit on that day was from the local police community support officer Gareth Nutt, who again provided helpful reassurance and information. A good ambassador for the force. Since retiring I have so often been embarrassed by accounts of poor police response and unhelpful approach. It was a pleasure to come across, first hand, an example of excellent teamwork, good training and first class response. Sue told me that the member of staff who took the initial call was extremely helpful and so from start to finish the response and follow up could not have been bettered. Sue joins me in passing on our warmest thanks for a job well done. Sir Roger Birch

Coach crash pupils say big thank you

The response by police when their coach was involved in an incident on 7 June made a big impression on primary school pupils from Dover. Fourteen children from Guston Church of England Primary School were taken to hospital with minor injuries when the coach they were travelling on, along with some adults, ended up on a roundabout on the A20 off J13 on the M20. The children, aged between six and eight, have now sent a folder of hand-made cards and thank you messages to the Kent Police officers who dealt with the incident, describing them as ‘the greatest team ever’ and thanking them for being ‘caring and kind’ and ‘keeping them all safe.’

Send in your letters to: or The Relay Editor, South Block, Force Headquarters, Maidstone, Kent ME15 9BZ Protecting and serving the people of Kent

The Relay extra – Issue 02


Hannah on target for Olympics Traffic sergeant Hannah Brown is set to score some great memories at the 2012 Olympics – literally. Hannah, based with the roads policing unit, is on the shortlist to be one of the 12 GB appointed officials for the archery event at the London games in two years’ time. Hannah is now one of only four international judges in the UK. Because she only qualified at that level last October she isn’t eligible to judge the 2012 event, but as an official she will be involved in running the timing and scoring systems and being on the field of play during the finals. She said: ‘I was selected for the fast track programme in order to judge at the World Cup event held in Dover 2007 and since then I have been to Poland, Spain, Croatia, Italy and Germany to judge events. Next year could take me to Ogden USA. ‘It would have been great to be a judge in 2012 but there’s always the 2016! People take 10 years to get where I am now and I’ve only been doing it for five so I’m really pleased with the progress I’ve made. ‘Being involved in an Olympics is going to be great, to be able to do it in my own country is awesome.’ Hannah, who’s been with the force for 10 years, has been involved in archery since she was 11, when a ‘have-a-go’ archery session at her local sports centre highlighted a natural aptitude. She said: ‘I wanted to give it a try and found I was good at it. I was beating the adults so I stayed enthusiastic and did all the courses and took part in competitions. I represented Great Britain at the World University Championships in 1996 but since joining the police in 2000 and working shifts time to practice has disappeared, so to stay in the sport I took up judging when one of the members of my club suggested I would enjoy it.’ She added: ‘I don’t take part in competitions myself any more but obviously as a judge I am very involved with the sport and I do still get a shot now and then at different clubs or my club at Stockbury – the Bowmen of Woodstock. ‘I guess judging archery is a bit like being a traffic cop – it is as much about educating people on the rules as it is about enforcing them, making sure the competition is fair to everyone, knowing the signs when people are trying to gain an advantage or take the mick!’

‘Being involved in an Olympics is going to be great, to be able to do it in my own country is awesome’

Protecting and serving the people of Kent

The Relay extra – Issue 02


Detention officer Ian steps up to ref world title fight The thrill of stepping out into the ring to referee the WBC Heavyweight Championship of the World will stay with detention officer Ian John-Lewis for a long time. Former professional welterweight Ian, who is based at Medway, has climbed up the refereeing ranks since retiring from the ring himself. He said being on the stage at the O2 World Arena Hamburg on 16 October to manage the fight between Ukrainian reigning champ Vitali Klitschko and American challenger Shannon Briggs was the highlight of his career so far. It is only the fifth time in history a British ref has taken charge of the Heavyweight Championship of the World. Ian said: ‘It was a fantastic feeling when I stepped out into the ring. This was easily the biggest fight of my career. There have only been a handful of British officials to referee this fight and the fact my name has been added is truly unbelievable. This was such a massive achievement for me and I’m so honoured because they don’t give the Heavyweight Championship of the World to anybody. This is the belt that Mohamed Ali, Iron Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis and now Vitali Klitschko have all defended with pride and honour and to be the man in the middle was amazing! ‘I’ve been involved in boxing since I was 15. I come from Darnley Road, Strood, and to think I’ve taken charge of the ‘richest prize in sport’ is great.’ Supporters who saw the match got to see plenty of Ian in action. It went to 12 rounds with Klitschko holding onto his title with a clear victory.

Matt Osborne, Lizzy Berns, Nick Baxter and Tom Robinson

National champion Matt crowns bike team success Kent’s Matt Osborne claimed the men’s 2010 Police National Champion title in a mountain bike event which saw success for other force riders. The 2010 Emergency Services and Police National Mountain Bike Championships was held on 12 September. Four Kent riders took part in a field of 77. ISD’s Matt came in first in the men’s event followed by DC Nick Baxter, major crime, in second. DC Tom Robinson, Medway, taking part for the first time, came second in the fun category and DC Lizzie Berns, came seventh in the women’s race. Overall Matt finished third, with Nick fifth. Nick said: ‘It was great to see a couple of new faces from Kent Police on the mountain bike scene and with any luck there will be even more at future events.’ If you are interested in joining the team contact DC Berns, Tac CID, West Kent, 02-2313.

Picture courtesy of Action Images

Protecting and serving the people of Kent

The Relay extra – Issue 02


Relay Extra - Issue 02  

External version of the Relay magazine for officers and staff in Kent Police

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