Kent Crimestoppers is taking to the streets of Sheppey urging residents to give information anonymously about who is responsible for drug, burglary, violent and gang-related crime on the island.
The focus of this winter campaign, which is supported by Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes, Kent Police and Swale Borough Council and Wardens, is inclusivity and community empowerment, to support those affected by crime and to ensure local people have the means to keep criminals out of the Isle of Sheppey.
"The Isle of Sheppey is a wonderful, close-knit community but one which, due to its unique character, is often omitted from our campaigns,” commented Julia Hughes, South East Regional Manager for the independent charity Crimestoppers. “We are determined to ensure that knowledge of our anonymous service reaches everyone in order that all islanders are empowered to speak out safely about local criminality and live in safe communities.”
This unique campaign will see a large-screened advertising van touring the island, coffee cups, beermats and posters displayed across pubs, cafes and corner shops and postcards given out in factories. It will also use social media to ensure sustained recognition of the charity.
Crimestoppers will also be displaying images of people wanted in the Kent area and asking for the public’s help in locating these known criminals by viewing images on their Most Wanted site here.
Inspector Mark Button of Kent Police added: “We are committed to driving down crime on the Island and working closely with local residents. However, we recognise that for a variety of reasons, people may not want to speak to police, so knowing there is an independent charity that offers an anonymous reporting service where you never have to go to court or give your name, will be a lifeline for some. Your information can only make a difference if you are willing to speak up.”
Cllr Ken Pugh, cabinet member for community safety and health at Swale Borough Council, agreed: “Local knowledge is one of the most important tools in fighting crime, and Crimestoppers is a great asset that can use this to help keep neighbourhoods safe.
“There is any number of reasons people might not want to report concerns to the police, so by offering the security of anonymity, and the knowledge that people won’t need to appear in court, Crimestoppers offers a vital way of gathering information and intelligence to fight crime.”
The impact of crime should not be underestimated; victims can be left traumatised, witnesses can be frightened and feel vulnerable and, culturally, some people feel they cannot and would not ever go to the police. Crimestoppers enables a safe route to breaking the cycle of crime.
If you have any information about those crime on the Isle of Sheppey or across Kent, please call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or use our Anonymous Online Form. No one will ever know who you are as we guarantee complete anonymity for those passing on information.
We also offer cash rewards of up to £1,000 for information given anonymously to the charity via 0800 555 111 that leads to the arrest and conviction of offenders.