Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner
Support services from across Sussex and victims of crime joined together on Wednesday night, at the Jubilee Library Brighton, to celebrate my ‘A Life More Ordinary’ campaign.
This is part of a week-long photographic exhibition at the library which showcases six brave women who have come forward and shared their experiences of sexual assault, stalking, hate crime and domestic abuse.
I wholeheartedly commend Poppy, Norma, Alice, Vivienne, Natalie and Lorraine’s courage in sharing their stories which have helped us promote our local support services and encourage other victims of crime to begin their journey of recovery.
The parents of the campaign’s youngest participant, who was a victim of sexual assault, commented on the importance of people reaching out for help: “I would say definitely, if you have been affected by crime, take the opportunity to access these services because they're really helpful. They are people who really know how things work and will be able to help you get through things.”
With a population of 1.6m in Sussex, it is important to make sure no victim slips through the cracks especially those who choose not to report to the police or are too scared. Safe: Space Sussex (an online directory of local support services) is the place for any victim of crime to find the help and support they need in Sussex.
There is still time to see the exhibition, at the Jubilee Library Brighton until Sunday 20th January, or online here.
There are a range of support services in Sussex that are here to help you.
This week, in Battle, I chaired a valuable discussion on Rural Crime, attended by representatives from rural organisations along with local parish councils in the Battle area. It was informative to hear their views and listen to their suggestions: the participants also appreciated the input of two police officers who joined us to explain how rural crime is policed across Sussex, including the Sussex Countrywatch Rural Crime Partnership. Read more here.
This week I had the opportunity to spend a morning at the ACRO criminal records office. The meeting offered a fascinating insight into this national policing asset. Policing is facing increasingly complex demands and it is more important than ever for us to have access to the high quality information that ACRO provides. Read more here.
The media recently reported that almost 100 migrants attempted to cross the Channel from France over the Christmas period using small boats and dinghies to reach the coastline.
I raised this topic, amongst others, in my monthly Performance & Accountability (PAM) meeting today with the Chief Constable. I wanted assurances that the Force are well positioned to respond to any potential threat along the 80+ mile stretch of Sussex coastline and that they're working with partners to ensure appropriate humanitarian measures are in place to support migrants.
I also wanted to know if Sussex residents were aware of Project Kraken. This is a multi-agency law enforcement campaign, between the National Crime Agency, Border Force and the Police, which aims to increase the vigilance of those living or working on the coastline to report suspicious or unusual activity. Read more here.
The Chief Constable has now decided to refresh this operation and I have had assurances that new messages on this initiative will be circulated to our coastal communities within a month.
If you did not get a chance to watch today’s PAM you can catch up here.
Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner
101 – Police non-emergency number
On the 1 November police forces throughout England and Wales switched from their various non emergency contact numbers to 101.
Sussex Police have been preparing for months for the switch over and have been live testing the 101 number since July 2011 in order to monitor how well the technology works.
Calls to the 101 non-emergency number will cost 15 pence for the entire call, no matter how long the call or what time of day it is. This applies to both landlines and mobile phones. In an emergency, callers should still dial 999, which is free. Those members of the public with impaired hearing or speech can still use the textphone -18001 101.
You can also report most non-emergency crime at no cost via the Sussex Police website at www.sussex.police.uk/contact-us/report-a-crime-or-incident. Online crime reporting was introduced back in January of last year and has proven very popular with many of the public who prefer this method of contacting the police rather than phoning.
When a member of the public calls 101, the system will determine the caller's location and connect them to the police force covering that area. They will hear a recorded message announcing which police force they are being connected to. If a caller is on a boundary between two or more forces, the recorded message will give them a choice of which force to be connected to.
Police call handlers in the force control room for that area will then answer the calls and respond appropriately. The caller will not be put through to a large national call centre.
For more information and some useful resources visit www.homeoffice.gov.uk/police/101-police-non-emergency