Sussex police ‘good’ at reducing crime and keeping people safe

07/02/2020

Sussex Police has welcomed an annual inspection report published today by Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

The report reflects an inspection from nearly a year ago, in April 2019, and HMICFRS recognise the progress the force has already made against their findings.

The Inspectorate found that Sussex Police is effective at reducing crime and keeping people safe and in how it treats the public and its workforce.

While the report acknowledges that Sussex Police has improved its ability to identify vulnerable people and that officers and staff assess vulnerability well, it has asked for further improvements in this area and in its efficiency overall.

The inspection team found that the force:

  • has a clear plan for neighbourhood policing with on-going investment in increasing its presence in local communities and in its investigative capabilities
  • has a good understanding of public demand, including uncovering ‘hidden demand’, and at planning future demand using innovative technology but could do more to address current lower risk issues
  • is ethical and good at treating its employees and the public fairly

Responding to the publication PCC Katy Bourne said the annual inspection showed the force was “good” at preventing and investigating crime  but needs to improve its safeguarding processes.

“The inspection acknowledged the force was “good” at reducing crime, keeping communities safe and tackling serious and organised crime.

"Some of the areas highlighted in the inspection have been addressed or improved since HMICFRS visited the Force ten months ago. With 379 additional police officers and 100 extra PCSOs on the way and a dedicated rural policing team, local people are seeing and feeling safer.

"Investment in the 101 non-emergency service has driven down call waiting times by over 70%, and the force now has a full team of specialists trained to support sexual offence investigations.

“I'm pleased that HMICFRS recognises Sussex Police as a Force that responds positively and quickly to recommendations.  I will be expecting to see further improvements particularly in safeguarding vulnerable people and in assessing risk and demand, and more efficient use of resources where they are most needed.”

Chief Constable Giles York said: “We are absolutely committed to delivering the highest possible quality of policing to our local communities in Sussex.

“The report recognises the overall quality of the service we provide but, being published almost a year after the inspection, does not reflect the huge strides that have been made since.

“During this period we have significantly reinvested in our neighborhood policing presence and in our investigative capacity, as well as launching new rural crime and proactive policing teams, both of which will be expanded further.

“We have reduced 101 call waiting times by more than 70%, to an average of under five minutes, and cut the number of callers who hang up before getting through by more than 60%. This is all making a difference now.

“In the coming weeks and months we will be further enhancing our service to victims of domestic abuse and the specialist support available for victims of sexual violence, among a range of growth plans.

“The recent and long overdue investment in policing is beginning to ease the pressure and lead to better outcomes for victims and for our local communities and we will build upon this.

“We welcome independent scrutiny for HMICFRS and recognise there is always more we can do. I remain incredibly proud of the work that our officers, staff and volunteers do every day to keep the people in Sussex safe."

The full report is available here: https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/wp-content/uploads/peel-assessment-2018-19-sussex.pdf

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