Policing of vigils and protests on accountability agenda

17/03/2021

WHAT: Monthly Performance & Accountability Meeting (PAM)

WHEN: Friday 19 March @ 14:00

WHERE: Watch live or in the archive

SOCIAL MEDIA: Join the conversation on Twitter using #SusPolScrutiny

This week Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) Katy Bourne’s monthly Performance & Accountability Meeting (PAM) with Chief Constable Jo Shiner will be webcast live online.

Following the harrowing news of Sarah Everard’s death, conversations have been sparked around female safety. Vigils were organised and held across the UK, including in Brighton last weekend.

The first item on the agenda on Friday will be the policing approach to vigils and protests during the ongoing pandemic.

She says: “This Friday, in my regular accountability meeting with Chief Constable Shiner, I will be looking at the policing over last weekend.  In particular, I will be asking to hear to hear how any complaints from people attending the vigils are being addressed, including the examination of police body worn video.

“I have been in regular contact with our Chief Constable since last weekend and I have been reassured that the majority of people who attended the vigils adhered to the social distancing and gathering rules which have helped drive Covid levels down. 

“Throughout this pandemic, Sussex Police’s sympathetic approach has been supported by local people but, where individuals choose not to respect lawful behaviour, officers have a duty to act with discretion and enforce the law if necessary. Out of the hundreds of people who were gathered over the weekend there was just one arrest and eight Fixed Penalty Notices issued.

“We must look at the evidence and the facts before making judgements about the police handling of a sensitive situation during very difficult times when feelings are running understandably high.”

Other topics under discussion include:

Reassurance to Sussex communities - Coronavirus

Call handling times and contact

Code of practice for victims of crime

Road safety

Sussex Safer Roads Partnership

Operation Crackdown

Excessive speed and speed cameras

Community Speed Watch

Cyclists

The next PAM is on Friday, 16 April 2021 at 13:00.