News Man attacked by

hammer gang POLICE are hunting three masked men who used hammers to assault a man during a bur- glary at a house near Maidstone. The victim was taken to hospi- tal with minor injuries after the attack at 10.30pm on September 14 .

The suspects barged into the man’s home in Nettlestead and demanded money. He managed to escape and raise the alarm with neighbours.

A police spokesman said: “It is reported the men were armed with hammers and the victim was immediately assaulted, amid de- mands for cash and other items. “During the incident the victim managed to run outside and raise the alarms. The suspects fled the scene and were seen running down Bishops Close before es- caping in a dark coloured vehi- cle.”

Residents with CCTV or door- bell cameras are urged to review any footage which could help en- quiries. The suspects were all white and wore dark hooded tops and scarves over their faces.

Soft play over

A SOFT play centre in Maidstone has closed its doors for good. Wear M Out, in Parkwood In- dustrial Estate, has made the de- cision to shut permanently as it is no longer financially viable. In a statement, the company

said: “Unfortunately, Wear M Out Maidstone has had to make the decision to not re-open. The new guidance is very indepth. “The changes would include

much reduced capacity and pre- booked only, changes to the play frame ... and new ventilation sys- tems, to name a few. “Without any financial help from the Government, but land- lords demanding full rent and on- going overhead costs, the business is no longer viable.”

Snoop hotline

MALLING MP Tom Tugendhat has dismissed reported plans to introduce a hotline for quaran- tine-breakers as akin to “commu- nist east Germany”. In a Tweet, Mr Tugendhat said allowing people to snoop on their neighbours and report them to the authorities harked back to the Cold War. Mr Tugendhat said the move was “un-British” in a Tweet, which prompted hundreds of comments.


Police ‘not interested’ in ball bearing attack

A VILLAGER has described Kent Police as “totally disinterested in inves- tigating crime” after a terrifying ball bearing attack on his car. Neil Willett’s quiet Sunday

evening in front of the TV was shattered when he heard the 1.5cm pellet

rip through two

panes of glass in his Jeep, parked in the road.

The heavy metal ball, possibly fired from a catapult, ripped through the rear driver’s side win- dow and exited the vehicle through the front passenger’s glass, before landing in 56-year- old Mr Willett’s front garden in Upper Street, Leeds. He believes the assailants picked

on his car because it was the first one they would have encountered travelling from Langley through the village at about 9.45pm on Sunday, September 20. Mr Willett said: “If they’d missed, it would have gone through our front window and could have killed me or my wife Debbie. “I saw the tail light disappearing

down the road when I got outside. When I rang the police, they gave me a crime number.

“But I got the distinct feeling

they could not have been less in- terested in me as a victim of crime, or were in the least bit interested in investigating what happened.” Mr Willett hopes that if police do decide to act, they will track down

an ambulance parked up on the other side of the road that may have picked up dashcam footage. A PCSO visited Mr Willett eight days after the incident happened. He said: “She was very polite and said sorry that no one had been in touch before. But I am not hopeful anything will come of it.” Leeds crime victim Audrey Browne, whose front wall was criminally damaged by a foreign lorry driver who fled the scene in February, has not heard “a peep” from Kent Police. She has now been

Meat theft appeal

POLICE have issued CCTV images of a man they would like to speak to following an alleged theft in Maidstone At about 6pm on September, a

man entered the Co-op in Week Street, where it is alleged he placed a number of meat items into a bag and then left the store without paying. Officers would like to identify

the person pictured in the CCTV image, who they believe can assist with their enquiries. Anyone with information is

asked to call Kent Police on 01622 604100, quoting reference 46/156121/20. You can also con- tact Kent Crimestoppers anony- mously on 0800 555111, or by completing an online form.

forced to spend £3,000 to have it re- paired. She added: “I never heard a word. I am still waiting to be inter- viewed or updated on the progress of the investigation. They simply do not care.” Kent Police were approached for a comment.

The Office of the Kent Police and

Crime Commissioner (OPCC) said: “If Mr Willett wishes to make con- tact with the OPCC, we will of course pass his complaint on to the Professional Standards Depart- ment.”


schools open TWO new schools near J7 of the M20 have opened with a cohort of 37 pupils, with build- ing work still going on. The site on the Kent Medical Campus was only allowed to open when a tweak to its plan- ning consent was obtained. The primary and special

needs schools could not open while works to the nearby roundabout nearby had not been completed. Plans for the schools, which

are situated yards from the Cygnet mental hospital where violent criminals are treated, met fierce opposition from res- idents, elected councillors, ed- ucators and clergy.

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