Kent Police

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More than 170 firearms handed in during gun amnesty

Residents handed in 172 firearms and nearly 4,000 rounds of ammunition during Kent Police’s firearms surrender.

The campaign allowed people to dispose of unwanted or illegally held firearms or ammunition.

Officers received various firearms including pistols, revolvers, shotguns, rifles and air weapons.

The initiative ran between 21 January and 6 February.

Watermarked AK-47
Kent Police
This deactivated Kalashnikov AK-47 was handed in as part of the surrender

Police tax rise to fund 180 more officers

An extra 180 police officers are to be recruited in 2019-20 after Kent and Medway's Police and Crime Panel approved the move.

Ninety will go into local policing and and 90 into crime investigation teams to tackle issues such as domestic abuse and sexual violence.

It will bring the number of full-time officers to 3,632, returning the force to 96% of its peak strength from a decade ago, police and crime commissioner Matthew Scott said.

He said funds would come from raising the police share of the council tax - equivalent to £2 a month for an average Band D property.

Extra funding for Kent Police

Caitlin Webb

Local Democracy Reporter

A hike in council tax for Kent Police has been approved despite a report raising questions over whether the force is value for money.

More than 1,300 people across Kent completed a survey and rated the force's cost efficiency an average of five out of 10.

Yet from April the bill is set to increase by 14.2% - the highest possible jump - equivalent to £24 for residents in Band D homes.

This will raise £16.6m which will be used to pay for 180 police officers and 15 staff salaries.

This increase was proposed by the Minister of Policing Nick Hurd to address the cost pressures on the police across the country.

Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott told the Kent and Medway crime panel he has decided on the increase to address the demand on the force.

'Wartime bomb' found in Rochester

Rochester station
BTP Kent

Trains are not stopping at Rochester Station after a "wartime bomb" was found nearby.

Police evacuated a building site in Corys Road after being called at 12:36 GMT to reports of a "suspected wartime munition".

Kent Police said: "The Ministry of Defence has been contacted so that an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team can inspect the scene."

Southeastern said disruption was expected to continue until at least 15:30 GMT.

Firearms surrender extended by two days

Sue Nicholson

BBC News

Kent Police have extended their firearms surrender by two days.

Members of the public now have until Sunday to hand in unwanted or illegally-held firearms and ammunition.

Those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for illegal possession and can remain anonymous.

Since the start of the initiative, on 21 January, more than 120 firearms - including shotguns, pistols and air weapons - have been handed in, along with about 2,000 rounds of ammunition.

Det Ch Insp Patrick Holmes said it had been an excellent response.

Man arrested over drugs haul in Sevenoaks

Three black buckets containing cannabis.
Kent Police

A suspected drug dealer has been arrested in Sevenoaks in connection with the seizure of three buckets of cannabis.

Suspected Class A drugs, found in wraps made from betting slips, were also seized from an address in Queen’s Drive, as well as around £1,000 in cash.

Plain clothes police officers were alerted to a suspicious vehicle at around 14:30 GMT on Tuesday.

They followed it to Queen's Drive, where the driver is reported to have run from vehicle and into a property, where he was arrested.

Police seized suspected cocaine, as well as cannabis estimated to weigh between 3-4kg.

A 37-year-old man, from Sevenoaks, was arrested on suspicion of possessing Class A and Class B drugs with intent to supply, and released pending further investigation.

More than 75 firearms handed in to police

Lizzie Massey

BBC Live reporter

More than 75 shotguns, pistols, air weapons and ammunition have been handed in during the first week of the Kent Police annual firearms surrender.

The amnesty – which ends on Friday 1 February – allows the public to dispose of any unwanted or illegally-held items anonymously and without risking prosecution.

Det Ch Insp Patrick Holmes said many firearms were held innocently with owners unaware of their illegality, or were overlooked heirlooms forgotten in people’s homes.

The current haul stands at:

  • 25 shotguns
  • Four revolvers
  • One pistol
  • 20 air weapons
  • 1,140 rounds of live ammunition

Mr Holmes added: "So far we’ve had an excellent response to this surrender.

"Every firearm off the streets is another weapon which has been prevented from being potentially used in criminal activity."