How will an extra 200 police officers help close the public confidence gap?

18/04/2018

This is the question that will top the agenda at the Police & Crime Commissioner’s monthly Performance & Accountability Meeting (PAM) with Sussex Police Chief Constable Giles York this week.

WHEN: Friday 20 April 2018 at 1.30pm

WHERE: Watch live online or catch up in the archive: http://www.sussex-pcc.public-i.tv/core/portal/home

SOCIAL MEDIA: Join the conversation on Twitter using #SussexPoliceScrutiny

Last month, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) published their “Effectiveness” report on Sussex Police. Inspectors judged the Force to be ‘good’ in how effectively it keeps people safe and reduces crime and recognised that Sussex Police has made “significant progress from its 2016 inspection” when the Force received a grading of ‘requires improvement’.

“It is reassuring that, despite the significant redesign of local policing, Sussex Police is assessed as being Good overall”, said the county’s Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne.

“The report does, however, highlight public engagement as an area where Sussex Police falls short. Part of the problem is that the force is spending less time engaging with local communities which means that, whilst it understands the risks to most communities, it doesn’t understand people’s specific concerns and, more puzzling, it doesn’t understand why anti-social behaviour has fallen in some areas.

“Sussex Police has clearly not communicated some of the benefits and successes of the new Prevention Teams. This is frustrating when we have seen excellent work by the Community Investigation Teams supporting local police commanders, and when Inspectors also assess the force ‘good’ at tackling serious and organised crime gangs whose activities often drive lower-level crime in our communities.

“Although their efforts are keeping Sussex a safe place to live and work, there is still a public confidence gap that the force needs to close through, visible and proportionate local policing.”
This week, Sussex Police announced that by 2022 there will be 200 more police officers than force has today, so I will be asking what difference that will make. What can the public expect to see and will this strengthening of local policing lead to an improved rating at the next HMICFRS inspection?

Other topics to be discussed at the meeting include:
• National Stalking Awareness Week – what are the key challenges for police in responding to reports of stalking and harassment?
• Use of ‘Community Remedy’ in Sussex – providing victims with a say in how offenders can make amends for their actions. Do the public feel they are working?

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