I walked around Westgate today to have a word with different shopkeepers about the re-introduction of CCTV in the village. The impression I received, was that they would like to see it back and a willingness exists to chip-in, if necessary, if the costs exceed the available budget for its re-introduction. One good idea, I thought, from one young lady, was to have a box in each shop, that local people could contribute to as well but I suspect that procedurally, this would offer a problem but I will explore the matter further.
One concern revealed today, involved the secondary sale of alcohol from off-licenses. This is prevalent everywhere in Thanet but the shop owners recognise the problem and would dearly love to see some pro-active policing to prevent the onward sale of booze to under-age drinkers outside the door. A single number to call to report this crime was suggested as one good idea, as I found zero confidence in calling the police at Maidstone with no real hope of the offenders being prosecuted either. The other side of the coin here, is that if there's no confidence in our overworked and thinly-streteched police turning-up, there's very little reason to report the problem. Ipso facto, the problem doesn't exist!
There's very little point in prosecuting smokers when we have children drinking themselves into oblivion on our streets. Tomorrow then, I'm going to write to the Chief Constable of Kent and ask him, under the Freedom of Information Act, how many people have been prosecuted in Kent - or better still Thanet - for supplying alcohol to minors on the street. If the answer is greater than zero, I'll be surprised but on a collective basis, I know my colleagues share with me the recognition that we need to take positive action in trying to stop this rot in our community, so let's start with a letter to Michael Fuller.