Police and paramedics will travel to call-outs together in Dartford as part of an expanded new scheme.

In February last year Kent Police and South East Coast Ambulance Service launched the Joint Response Unit, resulting in a new service for people in Medway and Swale where two Special Constables and one paramedic travel together in the same vehicle to incidents that may require both areas of expertise.

Special Constables are unpaid volunteers, many of whom have full-time jobs and give up at least 16 hours of their own time every month supporting regular police officers.

That unit currently operates on Friday and Saturday nights between 6pm and 2am and police said that it "has proved so beneficial to both organisations" that the scheme is being rolled out into Dartford and Gravesham where the team will be out seven days a week.

Superintendent Jason Wenlock of Kent Police’s Citizens in Policing team said: "I am so proud of everything our Specials have achieved with this scheme to date, working closely with our partners at SECAmb to provide a more effective and efficient service for members of the public.

"They have helped created the blueprint for how such an initiative can be run successfully, which regular officers in Dartford and Gravesham will now adopt in their area while the Specials continue to operate in Medway and Swale.

"I have every confidence that they too will reap the benefits of this innovative approach to partnership working.

"We have also recently started using two new Joint Response Unit vehicles funded by SECAmb, which contain all the equipment required by Kent Police Specials and regular officers to both tackle and prevent crime and by SECAmb paramedics to provide instant medical treatment to casualties.

"This is especially important when both organisations are required to attend incidents such as fights or assaults where there may be injuries."

Between May and August 2019, the Joint Response Unit was despatched to 110 separate incidents in Medway and Swale including assaults, crashes, medical episodes and mental health concerns.

SECAmb Operations Manager for Medway and North Kent, Will Bellamy said: "We are delighted that the scheme is being expanded.

"This collaborative approach has not only been positive for patients and our staff but has led to greater understanding of our respective fields of work.

"This really has been a staff-led initiative and I am so proud of what they have achieved. It has been particularly rewarding to see the scheme receive recognition in our recent CQC inspection report.’