Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner
This week I attended a Roundtable Discussion on Serious Violence with Crime Minister Victoria Atkins, Policing Minister Nick Hurd and my PCC colleagues from across the country. We looked at how we could access some of the £100m Government funding set aside to tackle knife crime and the prevention work being undertaken by police forces across the country to galvanise their response to serious violence.
It was recognised by all that there is a need for closer partnership working to tackle knife crime and in Sussex work has already started to provide a robust response to serious violence. This includes the implementation of a focused strategy and an Early Intervention Youth Programme funded by the Home Office.
The richness and diversity of our communities here in Sussex is one of our greatest strengths.
Yesterday evening two members of my team visited the Crawley Interfaith Network as part of my ongoing focus group campaign to gauge people’s perceptions of policing and safety in their own communities.
In the wake of recent attacks, Sussex Police stepped up reassurance patrols around mosques and increased engagement with communities of all faiths. I want to ensure that people feel safe in Sussex and welcome any concerns or recommendations they give about how Sussex Police could improve their handling of hate crime.
Ahsan Ahmedi, President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association and member of the Crawley Interfaith Network comments: “In the mid-90s my wife was subject to hate crime because she wore a hijab, back then the police didn’t do much to help. Now, if there is an incident at the Mosque the response is very quick and we have a good relationship with Sussex Police.
“However, I would like to see even more effort made by the police to better understand the diverse communities they serve and use the Faith Leaders, who are at their disposal, to change the narrative and build trust towards the police.”
At 11am this morning I attended a minute’s silence and a message of sympathy and solidarity to the people affected by the atrocity in New Zealand. This was held at Sussex Police HQ with the Chief Constable, his senior officers, staff and a large number of the new recruits. It was a humbling moment and a real reminder to these new officers of the tragedy that can affect a community and the importance of their role. I then attended the Amex Stadium to see these same officers being formally welcomed into Sussex Police.
This latest cohort of 37 Police Officers about to go out on division can be seen in the photo alongside 71 new trainees recruited earlier this month. They form part of the recruitment drive Sussex Police are undertaking to bolster neighbourhood policing and they will all soon be out and about in our communities keeping us all safe. I thank them all for the vital service they will provide.
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