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8 people rescued from fire at block of flats in Chatham

8 people have been rescued from a fire at a block of flats in Chatham. Firefighters were called to a fire in a six-storey building used as private flats.

Crews rescued one person with a height vehicle, two other people were also rescued and a further five were led to safety. All people were quickly accounted for and there are no reported injuries.

Crews remain on the scene identifying hot spots with thermal imaging cameras and cutting away material to allow the fire to be completely extinguished.The cause of the fire is currently unknown but will be investigated.


Chatham man charged with attempted murder and assault

A Chatham man has been charged with attempted murder and assault following a disturbance in the town.

Police were called at 9am on Sunday 1st December to Bryant Street, Chatham, to reports a man in his late 20s had suffered stab wounds.

The victim was airlifted to hospital to be treated for serious injuries. His condition is now described as stable.

Today, detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate charged 22-year-old Glebs Konovalos, of Prospect Row, Chatham, with attempted murder and assault.

Cash boost for Chatham Dockyard

The historic dockyard in Chatham's received a grant of £4.5m from the lottery fund. It's to support their £8.75m Command of the Ocean's project to create world class galleries and visitor facilities at the tourist attraction.

Command of the Oceans is arguably the most significant single project undertaken by the Trust in pursuit of its own educational charitable purposes since the "Wooden Walls" gallery opened in the late 1980s. The news that the wonderful Heritage Lottery Fund has again supported us, alongside a number of long standing funding partners* - including the Homes and Communities Agency - is testament to the ever increasing significance of our work here, the significance of the place and the outstanding creativity of our team."

– Bill Ferris OBE, Chief Executive of Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust

Chatham burglar jailed

A man has been jailed for 16 months after a neighbour spotted him trying to flee a break-in in Chatham. Satnam Bal, formerly of Rochester Street, Chatham, had used a rock to smash a conservatory window of a property on 29 June.

He fled empty handed after the victim, who had been in a greenhouse in her back garden, approached the house to investigate the sound of breaking glass.

Whilst we do not encourage residents to approach anyone who could be engaged in criminal activity, we would like to thank members of the public for their vigilance, which in this instance has led to a conviction and taken another burglar of our streets. Don’t assume if you are in a garden, or working outside that your home is safe. It takes seconds for an intruder to break into a house, but by taking just a few steps, such as making sure gates and windows are secure, residents can reduce the risk of crime, as well as the chances of being a victim of crime."

– Detective Inspector Mike Worrall


Woman jailed for her role in robbery

Keely Beer, who was also sentenced for her part in the robbery Credit: Kent Police

A 41-year-old woman has been jailed for four years after admitting her part in an armed robbery.

At about the same time as a man stole £25,000 from a security van, another witness later reported that he saw a blue Range Rover parked in his road and a person acting suspiciously around it.

The witness had the foresight to take a photo of the person and the vehicle and reported it to police.

Officers were able to use that information to trace the vehicle on Automatic Number Recognition Cameras and found that one was owned by Keely Beer.

Later that afternoon, officers went to the home of Beer and her partner John Todd in Firethorn Close, Gillingham, and arrested them.

A search of the address found two carrier bags containing blue dyed £10 notes and blue stained clothes that Todd was wearing when he carried out the robbery.

Victim believed robber had a gun

Maidstone Crown Court has heard details of an armed robbery where £25,000 in cash was stolen from a security van. At just after 9.15am on 26th July a Loomis security van had arrived at a supermarket on Maidstone Road in Chatham.

One of the security van staff members deactivated the alarm system while his colleague got out of the van and collected a pre-prepared box which contained £25,000.

The victim saw a man wearing a scarf walk towards him. He was carrying something which the victim believed to be a small hand gun.

The offender pointed the pistol at the victim and shouted: "Give me the box, drop the box." He did as he was told and the man bent down and picked it up before walking away. The victim then pressed his personal attack alarm and a security liquid dye was activated.

Man receives six years for robbery

John Todd, who pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of an imitation firearm Credit: Kent Police

A couple who stole £25,000 in an armed robbery of a security van in a Chatham supermarket car park have been jailed.

John Todd, 45, pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of an imitation firearm and was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court to six years and eight months in prison.

His partner, Keely Beer, 41, admitted a charge of robbery and was jailed for four years.

Men jailed for brandishing swords in front of children

Two men have been jailed for brandishing swords in front of terrified children during a confrontation in Chatham. In June, Robert Dewar and Christopher Coburn emerged from their homes with swords, after a child’s plastic hula hoop had rolled into Dewar’s car, which was parked on the same street.

In front of other children playing outside they approached the child’s mother and threatened to damage her partner’s car. Coburn waved a two feet long sword above his head, whilst Dewar was also holding a sword.

Coburn, 59, was sentenced to 12 months in prison for affray, and was also given an eight month sentence for having an offensive weapon. Dewar, 46, was jailed for 8 months after pleading guilty to having an offensive weapon.

Although no one was injured this incident happened in full view of a group of children who were playing in the area, many of whom were left very scared and in tears. These sentences serve as a reminder to anyone that we will not tolerate violent and aggressive behaviour, whether it occurs within the home or in public."

– Detective Constable Dave Preston, Kent Police
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