A disturbance involving about 40 inmates from the same wing at Maidstone Prison has been resolved, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed.
A gang of four who took part in a series of violent robberies across the country have been found guilty at Maidstone Crown Court.
Revellers are getting ready for a brand new festival in Maidstone this weekend featuring bands like Sister Sledge and Brand New Heavies.
ITV News Meridian reporter, David Johns, filmed the scenes around Maidstone this afternoon showing car parks, roads and homes all badly hit by the flooding that has affected many towns across the region on Christmas Day.
Campaigners in Maidstone are calling on the local council to take urgent action over congestion and traffic pollution in the town which they say is unbearable. Tom Savvides reports.
– Chris Ward, Land Securities
This is a major project which will enhance the shopping area and we have been acutely aware of the need to involve local residents, businesses and others who have a keen interest...
We have listened carefully to public feedback, in particular to issues raised about the impact on local roads, traffic congestion, improving public transport links with the town centre and the possible impact on shops within the town centre.
We will spend more than £6 million on improvements to roads, roundabouts and junctions and this will upgrade the local road network...”
Plans for an £85 million redevelopment, which could create up to a thousand jobs in Maidstone, have been submitted to the borough Council. Developers, Land Securities, want to transform Newnham Court Shopping Village which will include a new Debehnams and Waitrose.
According to Land Securities, nearly a thousand people attended an exhibition to find out about the plans and 73% were in favour of them.
A decision from Maidstone Borough Council is expected in the new year.
Neighbourhood officers in Maidstone staged a night time operation at the weekend to promote taxi safety in the lead up to Christmas.
On the evening of Saturday 30 November officers conducted checks on taxi drivers who were operating in Maidstone to ensure that their vehicles were road-worthy, and that they held – and were displaying - the correct licences.
One driver failied to display his licence, one was prosecuted for parking on a double yellow line and others were warned in connection with causing obstructions.
– Police Constable Ian Jackson from Kent Police
The Christmas party season is the perfect time to be carrying out this type of enforcement. We want people to be safe when they are in the town centre, but also when they leave too, and it is important to ensure that taxis are licensed appropriately and that no drivers are operating illegally. When people go out in a group we always recommend that one person is responsible for keeping aside the taxi fare so you have enough money to get home. If using a mini-cab you should pre-book it, or keep the number of a reputable company to hand.
We challenged new Sports Minister - and Maidstone MP - Helen Grant to answer five sporting questions. The correct answers are: Marion Bartoli, Wigan Athletic, Chris Robshaw, 1992, and Jacqueline Freney.
Mrs Grant told us "I wasn't told there was going to be a quiz on Saturday night. If I'd known I would have done some proper revision. My sports pub quiz knowledge may not be encyclopaedic but I understand the positive impact that participating in sport has on people's lives."
An ‘all out’ day by neighbourhood police officers in Maidstone led to seven people being arrested. On 12 November officers from the neighbourhood policing team deployed across the borough, with the help of automatic number plate recognition technology.
Six drivers were issued with offence reports for traffic offences such as using a mobile phone while driving. In the town centre, seven people were identified who were wanted in connection with crimes such as shoplifting and outstanding warrants.
– Inspector Maxine Martin, Kent Police
"This was a really successful day, resulting in seven outstanding suspects being located and dealt with. As the Christmas season approaches we will be running similar operations to target people who commit any offence, but in particular shoplifting and violent offences. We want people to come to Maidstone and enjoy all it has to offer, but we want those who come here with the intention to commit crime to be looking over their shoulder as we will be looking for them"
Officers from across the country had to be brought in to bring a disturbance at Maidstone Prison under control. Around 40 inmates were involved and it's believed to have broken out in one wing. The prison holds mainly foreign nationals. This from John Ryall.
Government cuts to prisons sparked a disturbance involving around 40 inmates at a jail in Kent, the Prison Officers' Association have warned. Police and fire crews had to be deployed to Maidstone Prison when the trouble erupted in one of the wings.
The Ministry of Justice confirmed that it was resolved last night. It is believed to have lasted more than three hours. A prison services spokeswoman said the incident had been resolved without any injuries to staff or prisoners. There was no evidence of damage, she added.
Prison Officers Association vice chairman Ralph Valerio said the Maidstone Prison riot was in response to new regime changes and staff cuts that resulted in prisoners having to spend more times in their cells. Mr Valerio said: 'As a trade union we have been warning against this for some time.'
Officers from special prison service riot units across the country were called in to deal with a riot at Maidstone incident tonight, in a system known as Operation Tornado.
Up to 180 inmates were said to be involved. Iain McBride reports from the scene.