Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner
This week I was shown a key planning document produced by Sussex Police, the Force Management Statement. Whilst this might not sound significant or particularly relevant to front line policing it is actually hugely important because it helps the force understand the breadth of crime and policing challenges it faces, and the skills, processes, leadership and resources it needs to deploy to meet them. This in turn informs the budget and our financial planning processes.
I am pleased to see the thought and effort that has come from across all parts of Sussex Police to collate this assessment. The very process of looking at every aspect of police activity provides a necessary stocktake and gives senior officers better oversight. As PCC, I have a duty to ensure that the Chief Constable delivers effective and efficient policing for local people, and I can see how this excellent Force Management Statement will be a valuable guide to him as well as to me when setting the police budget.
Having recently launched its four year Transformation Strategy after a long period of re-adjustment of local policing, police officers and staff and local people have every reason to be weary of changes, but there is a very positive change just over the horizon.
With the police budget now in much healthier condition thanks to local people contributing more, and money from reserves, over 160 new PCs are being recruited and will start training in the next six months. Sussex Police has already recruited a pool of 104 successful police constable applicants and 72 will start their training in September, and a further 32 will start in December.
On top of that, the force is looking to recruit a further 72 officers in a new campaign that launches at the end of this month. So if you think you are up for the challenge of policing Sussex get ready to get your applications in or encourage your friends and relatives. It really could be the start of the most rewarding career.
Having recently launched its four year Transformation Strategy...there is a very positive change just over the horizon.
Earlier this week, I was honoured to be invited to join officers, Specials and police staff and their families for the Long Service and Good Conduct Awards in Brighton, celebrating in some cases over 40 years in policing. A common theme from the worthy recipients was the sense of family and consistent support that Sussex Police has provided for them.
Only last night I was invited to join officers from around the country at the Police Bravery Awards ceremony in London where PC Owen Flitton was the Sussex nominee.
PC Flitton was put forward for a bravery award for single-handedly disarming and arresting a man who was brandishing a large kitchen knife and threatening that he had a firearm. Although the South East award ultimately went to a Hampshire officer, I wanted to thank PC Owen on behalf of all Sussex residents for his selfless actions and professionalism, in protecting a female driver who was threatened, stopping the man from stealing a taxi and for wrestling him to the ground and arresting him.
I also wanted to take this opportunity to recognise the impact on Sussex Police and on individual officers and their families in providing extra officers during the visit of President Trump.
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