Large police presence in Dartford and Gravesend amid riot fears

PUBLISHED: 17:26 09 August 2011

Deputy Chief Constable of Kent Police Alan Pughsley

Deputy Chief Constable of Kent Police Alan Pughsley


One of Kent Police’s top cops say they are monitoring transport and rail networks while having a large police presence in Dartford and Gravesend town centres to prevent large scale rioting and looting tonight.

Deputy Chief Constable Alan Pughsley says Kent Police is well prepared to deal with any contingency but said there were currently no related incidents in Kent.

The show of force comes hours after we revealed riot police will be deployed at Bluewater shopping centre tonight following a call to a disturbance on Monday night, the worst of three days of violence across the capital and beyond.

In total 11 arrests have been made following clashes in the Medway towns last night, as the London riots gathered pace.

He said: “Whilst Kent Police is not expecting further violence, we are actively looking at all forms of intelligence and monitoring the transport and rail network.

“There is a large police presence in a number of town centres and shopping areas to prevent further disruption or criminality and, as a precaution, petrol stations have been asked to refuse to sell fuel in cans to anyone suspicious.

“We are also in close contact with community leaders and representatives and have been engaging with the retail community to offer advice and information on measures they can take if they have any concerns about their businesses and staff.”

He added: “I would like to reiterate that we have a zero tolerance approach to crime of any kind, have plans in place to deal with incidents and will take swift action against those who wish to attack our communities.”

Advice for residents

Report suspicious activity to Kent Police on 01622 690690. Suspicious activity could be anything out of the ordinary i.e large groups of people gathering.

Park your car in well-lit areas and in your garage if you have one.

Avoid crowds and if you see a confrontation, walk away and report it to Kent Police.

Think about property which could be used to start a fire - keep rubbish bins out of sight and only put them out on rubbish collection day.

Make sure there’s nothing lying around outside your house that could be used to damage your or someone else’s property, or harm someone.

Advice for businesses

We are working with our local businesses to give out advice on keeping their business and property safe.

The Metropolitan Police Service has issued the following advice to businesses which you may also wish to consider.

Where possible retail premises should be suitably staffed with security guards.

Ensure staff members report any suspicious activity to security and/or police.

Regularly check the building and surrounding area.

Identify areas that are vulnerable to forced entry

Make sure all service doors are kept locked and secure when not in use.

Continue to use your security systems such as CCTV and check it’s fully operational.

In case of an emergency, is there a record of the names of keyholders who can be contacted.

Consider removing high value goods from display windows overnight.

Consider keeping as little cash as possible on the premises.

Ensure that your premises are secure and if fitted your alarm systems are fully operational.

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