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On Tuesday 10 August, the NFRN met with Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott following his recent re-election, to discuss his proposed efforts to tackle retail crime and protect those who serve their local communities.

Mr Scott agreed to emphasise the importance of retail crime amongst small and independent businesses within Kent county, and assures Kent’s members that all crimes will be investigated and fairly assessed.

In recent years, many members have lost faith in policing, with long response times and very few prosecutions. Mr Scott ensured the NFRN that restoring the trust of the force remains a focus, urging all members to report incidences as soon as they occur. The Commissioner outlined plans to recruit 250 more officers in coming years, filling policing gaps in local communities. The Neighbourhood Alert service will also be introduced in late 2021 – a two-way social media network which allows direct communication with the force and to share intelligence.

Antisocial behaviour was the core topic of conversation, and the Commissioner detailed plans to ensure appropriate care will be given to smaller shops who fall victim of these incidences. This will be an absolute priority within the Police and Crime Plan 2021/22.

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