Agenda and minutes

Penny Cole, Dartford Local Boards
Thursday, 22nd April, 2010 7.00 pm

Venue: Fleetdown Primary School - Lunedale Road, Dartford, Kent DA2 6JX

Contact: Kayley Phillips  01622 696067

No. Item


Welcome to the meeting – Mrs P Cole, Chairman

-                      Apologies

-                      Introductions

-                      The Agenda for the Meeting


Welcome to the meeting and introductions – Mrs Penny Cole – Chairman


Apologies were received for Mr Jeremy Kite


Notes of Local Board meeting held on 18 November 2009 and progress on any actions agreed


Notes from the previous meeting were agreed as accurate.


Kent Trading Standards

Richard Strawson from Kent Trading Standards, will give a presentation on the work they do and how they use campaigns to find out the extent of a problem or how to target known problems. Richard will talk about specific initiatives to combat Doorstep scammers and underage alcohol sales in the Dartford East area.


Richard Strawson (Area Manager) Kent Trading Standards gave a presentation of which a copy is attached.


The presentation drew attention to some of the work done by Trading Standards, namely:


  • Investigation of fraudulent dealers/traders
  • Consumer detriments (Loan Sharks)
  • Crime and Disorder – prevention of purchases made by underage children such as alcohol, substances, tobacco
  • Animal Health
  • Licensing of chemicals, explosives etc.
  • Doorstep Crime
  • Raid Response to rogue traders if on premises to intervene
  • Strong victim support services, i.e Social Services, Help the Aged


Examples were also given examples of how some rogue traders operate and scam people, the elderly were mainly targeted, whereby they convinced their victims to part with sums of money by going into their banks and drawing cash for them.  Trading Standards have visited all the banks in the Dartford area and requested that they highlight people drawing large amounts of cash, ask questions and if in doubt, contact Trading Standards.


Trading Standards also offer advice and support to retailers regarding sales of alcohol to underage persons. 


Richard mentioned the “Loan Shark Hotline” which is available and informed all present of the availability of the Credit Union who may assist people who cannot obtain loans from the bank or building society.


Dartford East Neighbourhood Policing Team

PCSO John Kilvington from the Dartford East Neighbourhood Policing Team will be speaking about the work being done to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour in Dartford East .


PCSO Lauren Colton introduced herself as PCSO Kilvington, who was expected at the meeting, was in India.  PCSO Colton has been in the area since November 2009.  


Cameras are due to be installed shopping areas are due to be upgraded and/or replaced in the next few weeks thus enabling live monitoring 24 hours per day, seven days per week.


Crime increased during the Christmas period – theft particularly.  The levels are now at a plateau.


The task team are dedicated to the control of higher incidence anti social behaviour.


PACT meetings are held every 6 weeks with residents and councillors as well as regular surgeries.


KCC Community Safety Unit

Priscilla Lowney from the KCC Community Safety Unit will talk about some of the positive work being done to make Dartford East cleaner, safer and greener.  Priscilla will also address how people perceive crime.



Patricia Lowney from Kent Community Safety Partnerships gave a presentation on Crime Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRP):


  • Police
  • Local Authorities
  • Probation Service
  • Health Authorities
  • Voluntary Sector
  • Local Residents/Businesses


The Concept:


  • It is not just the police who are responsible for crime and disorder reduction.
  • Multi-agency approach allows causes of crime to be addressed through preventative strategies
  • Partnership promotes mutual trust and understanding, enabling exchange of data and know how
  • Provides a focus for local activity to encourage best practice.
  • Facilitates public consultation about crime levels, antisocial behaviour and the fear of crime



KCC Grants - Kayley Phillips


Kayley Phillips, Community Engagement Manager (Dartford) advised that the Grants schemes for Small Community Capital and Local Schemes have re-opened for 2010.  There were 60 projects funded last year.


The Small Community Capital Grant’s available funding is £31,800

The Local Schemes Grant ‘s available funding is £7,300


The closing date for applications for these schemes is 30 September 2010.


Kent County Council Wardens - Mark Honeysett


Mark Honeysett, Kent County Council Warden Supervisor gave an overview on the work they have been doing in the Darford area:


  • Litter picking
  • Community Projects to improve the area
  • Ongoing attempts to eradicate roadside car sales
  • Signs erected to deter fly tipping
  • Operation restore – advice and packs given to locals – 1,5 tons of litter removed


Opportunity to ask questions about local public services


Questions for Kent Trading Standards:


  1. What is the Hotline number for Kent Trading Standards?
  1. 0300 5552222 or 08454 040506 for Consumer Direct


  1. What if a persons wanted to refuse to pay a loan shark?
  1. First contact Kent Trading Standards before refusing to pay to ensure you are protected and the loan shark will be taken out of the equation.


  1. What is the difference between debt recovery agents and loan sharks?
  1. Debt recovery agencies are licensed but can be investigated if they operate outside the parameters.


  1. What groups to loan sharks usually target?
  1. Anyone who cannot get a bank loan is potentially targeted usually because they need money for bringing up children.  Loans from loan sharks are not necessarily drug related.


  1. Are there e-mails warning about rogue traders which may be operating in the area?
  1. Trading Standards sends alerts to Parish Councils.


  1. Mystery shoppers which are being sent in to shops to spot check on whether sales were being made to underage people.  Is this being done because Trading Standards may thing the retailers are smart?
  1. Replicating reality is a problem and Trading Standards are here to support people.


  1. Fireworks are being set off more frequently and appear louder than they ever have been.  Are there controls for this?
  1. The supply limit has been reduced.  The loudest ones should only be available for organised events,


  1. 16 – 17 year olds often pester other customers to purchase alcohol for them.
  1. These are proxy sales and are a police matter.  If a shop owner suspects that someone is purchasing alcohol for anyone underage and allows the purchase to go ahead, then the owner is committing and offence the same as the person purchasing the alcohol.


  1. It is legal to smoke at the age of 16 yet is illegal to purchase tobacco before the age of 18.
  1. It is not illegal to purchase tobacco on behalf of someone under the age of 18.


  1. What about the purchase of lottery tickets for underage people?

A.  Trading Standards do prioritise on alcohol and solvent sales to the underages.


Questions to Dartford East Neighbourhood Policing Team:

  1. There has been a spate of burglaries in the area recently?
  1. Yes, these occurred on the estate.  The thief has been caught and things are now quiet at the moment.


  1. PACT meetings are important.  Are people not attending?
  1. Some are well attended but some are at all well advertised,


Questions for Kent County Council Wardens:


  1. Has Sutton Hone got a Community Warden?
  1. Areas have been highlighted for Community Wardens.


  1. Who should be contacted to ask?
  1. Marilyn Howell – Head of Operations


  1. If funding is strapped?
  1. Wish to hold on to our Community Wardens and have expanded their areas.  Thirty temporary apprentices have been employed to assist.


  1. Please explain about the payback scheme
  1. Community service is classed as a payback scheme, called in to do bits and pieces in the area with Kent Probation Trust.  Suggestions can be made on the website for which projects in your area need to be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.


Any Other Business Notified to the Chairman prior to the meeting


James Hammond – Later Life Advised that a workshop would be held to discuss district schemes  for Later life, involving professionals, etc at the Riverside in Gravesend at the end of May 2010.