Helping to keep you safe

Living in a safe district is a key priority for our residents. Sevenoaks District Council works closely with various partners including the Police, Housing Associations and Social Services to tackle crime and help prevent anti social behaviour. Together, with our partners, we review our Community Safety Action Plan annually to target crime trends and address your concerns.

Over the past year we have improved parking enforcement arrangements, including the ability to issue ‘warning notices’ without a fine. We have developed community flood plans with parish councils, and we continue to develop proposals for a combined CCTV control room based at Sevenoaks to not only keep us safe, but also the residents of Tonbridge & Malling and Tunbridge Wells Borough councils.

A joint CCTV control room would not only save costs but would provide a much better service with enhanced technology.

Our Environmental Health team inspected 840 food premises, we have agreed with Motor Sports Vision a noise management plan to help reduce noise around the Brands Hatch motor racing circuit – that you can even hear from the Otford Hills! And we discovered £321,000 of overpaid housing benefit and £40,000 of overpaid council tax benefit this year.

Over the last year our dog warden has collected up 418 stray dogs, and for dog owners amongst you – the government have introduced a new law that all dogs over the age of 8 weeks need to be microchipped by 6 April this year. In order to help you comply with the new law SDC are offering free micro chipping with chips donated by Dogs Trust. Dog owners who fail to get their dog microchipped under the new law could face a fine of £500. For more information about compulsory microchipping, or to arrange for your pet to be microchipped, visit www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/animalwelfare or call 01732 227000.

Although we work hard with our partners to help keep you safe, obviously the Police are the lead agent when it comes to fighting crime and anti social behaviour. As you know you have your chance to hold the police to account by voting in the Police and Crime Commissioner elections on Thursday 5 May – the same day as the London Mayoral elections.

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Kent and Medway is the most powerful elected politician in the county. They aim to cut crime and deliver an effective and efficient police service within their force area. Once elected by the public our PCC holds the Chief Constables and the force to account, effectively making the police answerable to the communities they serve.

PCCs ensure community needs are met as effectively as possible, and are improving local relationships through building confidence and restoring trust. They work in partnership across a range of agencies at local and national level to ensure there is a unified approach to preventing and reducing crime. As PPCs set the police budget for the county they are able to control police priorities and these elections give us a voice in how our police force is managed.

Matthew Scott is our Conservative Candidate for PCC and he is a Sevenoaks District resident. You can find out more about him by clicking here: http://matthewscott.org.uk/

With the PCC elections on 5 May and the EU Referendum on 23 June – make sure you are on the electoral register and if you plan to be away please sort out a postal or proxy vote by visiting https://www.gov.uk/browse/citizenship/voting or calling SDC on 01732 227000.