Would you pay more to support policing in Sussex?
This consultation will close at midnight on Friday 5th January 2018.
How your money is spent
This year, we have seen police officers and staff nationally, along with other emergency services, respond with skill and bravery as they play their part in the substantial security effort around the recent terror attacks which have hit the UK.
In response to this significant threat, the Government is increasing the money it spends on tackling terrorism, including an amount for policing.
Further investment is also working to tackle the national threat of cyber crime, which is affecting businesses and individuals across the country.
With the new frontline for policing increasingly becoming our front rooms and children’s bedrooms – where crimes are being committed down the phone line and behind screens – we have to recognise that the policing we see is not necessarily all the policing we get to keep us safe.
I know that residents support Sussex Police in preparing for threats like terrorism and cyber crime but I’m also aware that issues closer to home, such as anti social behaviour, are affecting local people.
In previous years, the Chief Constable has asked for my help to raise more funds to invest in specific areas of policing, including public protection, community investigation and armed response.
Thanks to the money you’ve already contributed through your Council Tax Sussex Police has been able to build its capacity and capabilities in these areas, and others, in order to deliver a more effective and efficient service to the public. Now we need your help to sustain this service.
All public services have to find significant financial savings and Sussex Police is no exception. The force has already saved £76m since 2010 and the Chief Constable’s Local Policing Plan is working towards delivering further savings of £26.5m over the next four years.
Improving police efficiency and effectiveness
The Chief Constable and I are continuing to work together to drive further reform and substantial progress has already been made through collaboration with local and regional partners and through investment in mobile technology:
• The Video Enabled Justice Programme I’m leading for London and the South East is a ground-breaking £11 million investment by the Home Office. It will mean officers can be out policing, not spending up to five and a half hours per court appearance waiting to give evidence, and it will provide a much improved experience for victims and witnesses.
• New smartphones are saving police officers on average an hour every day. The time which would have been spent travelling to and from their stations to record crimes means they can now be out in the community more as they can do their paperwork at the touch of a button.
• Sussex Police has developed a Resolution Centre that provides timely support and advice for victims without the need for a physical visit. In its first year it reduced the need for officers to attend in 42,000 cases. This has saved victims' time, travelling time, time lost through broken appointments and has enabled Sussex Police to redeploy officers to support and protect people with the greatest need and threat of harm.
I know that the changes Sussex Police has made to its policing model are taking some getting used to but it’s vital that Sussex Police reshapes its neighbourhood policing teams to meet the challenges of 21st century policing.
What am I doing for you?
I want to help Sussex Police explore and identify all opportunities for investment. That is why I have carried out a review of the amount of money Sussex Police holds in its reserves and released some of these funds to reduce the impact of reductions in police officer numbers.
I’ve done this because I recognise the scale of the impact that these changes are having on the police and the public and I remain committed to strengthening local policing.
I am also seeking further sources of external funding, including contributions from new building developments that lead to increased demand on local services.
I – and other PCCs – continue to negotiate with the Government for more funding for policing, as well as asking for the removal of the current ‘cap’ on the police precept. We will have to wait for the provisional police settlement in December to see if we have secured more investment.