Scrutiny panel backs more enforcement, investigation and greater police presence
Katy Bourne, the county’s Police & Crime Commissioner, has welcomed an overwhelming vote of support from the Sussex Police & Crime Panel members who have today (Friday 31 January) backed her decision to increase the police precept by an extra £10 per year (for an average band D property).
This recommendation was made after substantial online public consultation by the PCC and 20 focus groups held across Sussex in which people said they would pay more for policing if they felt the benefit locally.
Due to the delay in the Government’s police funding announcement this year the PCC only had a week to decide on a proposed precept level and to test public opinion. Nearly 6,500 residents responded during this past week with 66% in favour of the increase.
The PCC has also had regular discussions with the Chief Constable and his senior team to better understand the operational needs of Sussex Police. The Force’s analysis of the demands on local policing, investigations and the need for tougher enforcement has led them to request investment the following:
- A central Tactical Enforcement Unit and one for each division across Sussex
- More police officers to tackle criminality on our roads
- Increasing investigative teams with more detectives and investigators
- More trained dog units to help with the increase in targeted investigations
- More local resolution centres, working closely with victims of crime
- Increased policing presence in our towns and villages
- Diverting more young people away from crime via the REBOOT scheme
- Cracking down on rural crime with an expansion of the dedicated rural team
- Increasing the digital presence of local policing teams
Commenting after the meeting, Mrs Bourne said: “I have been lobbying hard to secure the best possible funding arrangements for policing. I am pleased that the Panel has supported my decision to increase the police precept by its maximum for 2020/21, taking full advantage of the flexibility provided by Government.
“I am also pleased that the Panel recognised that I’ve listened intently to what Sussex residents want and what the Chief Constable needs. With their support, we’re now able to invest in more enforcement, more investigation and an even greater policing presence in our towns and villages
“They’ve also given Sussex Police the opportunity to begin implementing the already successful Tactical Enforcement Unit (TEU) across each division in the county.
“Our residents want to feel safe and know that strong action is being taken against those who wish to exploit or endanger them. I’ve seen firsthand how this team are doing just that.
“Yesterday I joined the TEU on a targeted operation and witnessed some really tough enforcement activity that yielded tangible results. They successfully located and arrested a prolific violent criminal who was charged in connection with a stabbing in Sorrel Drive, Eastbourne in 2018 before disappearing.
“This man is now in custody and the public have been safeguarded. I’m pleased that the Panel welcomed an expansion of this team across the entire county to enable us to firmly crack down on serious and organised crime.”
If you missed the panel meeting today you can watch it here, or if you have any questions about the policing precept you can see the PCC’s answers to the most frequently asked questions or submit your own question here.