Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner
As part of my ongoing programme of consultation with residents, my office organised two focus groups this week in Uckfield and Midhurst. All participants were keen to discuss issues including police visibility, anti-social behaviour (ASB) and the 101 non emergency number.
A Chief Inspector was present at both groups to answer questions and explain about the change programme underway at the Force’s contact centre in Lewes and how ASB is being tackled in local communities.
At the Uckfield event, District Commander Anita Turner praised the town council and neighbourhood watch for their efforts to help the police tackle ASB. She also said: “We are deploying formal orders and sanctions alongside Youth Offending Teams to reduce the levels of repeat ASB in the identified hotspot areas. Some of the young people known to be engaging in this type of behaviour have already been referred through the PCC’s REBOOT programme. This will see us working with partners and their families to curb their behaviour before we see them entering into higher risk criminality.”
To attend a future focus group or enquire about holding one in your area please click here.
Apply to be a Fearless Outreach Worker today.
On Wednesday I attended a formal attestation ceremony in Uckfield to watch 72 police officers sworn into Sussex Police. This is a huge milestone in their lives and I met many proud family members and friends who were there to support them.
Local policing matters and this is why the Force is currently recruiting. By 2023, Sussex Police will have 250 more police officers, 100 extra police community support officers and 50 additional specialist staff - this is above what we currently have. These numbers form part of the largest police recruitment drive that Sussex has seen in 10 years.
They are all about to embark on 15 weeks of training before providing the visible policing presence that the public have been calling for.
In April, the Home Office allocated £1.3m to Sussex Police to target serious violence. £390k of this funding has now been allocated to my office to expand our REBOOT programme, which has already seen over 200 referrals of vulnerable young people.
As part of this expansion, I have partnered with Crimestoppers charity to recruit three Fearless Outreach Workers. They will engage with 11-16-year olds, from across Sussex, to increase their awareness of knife crime, street crime and child sexual exploitation.
Glenys Balchin, Surrey and Sussex Regional Manager for Crimestoppers, commented on the role: “If successful you would work with young people in a variety of settings including schools and youth groups delivering age-appropriate workshops. So, we are looking for people who are dynamic, passionate and have a natural ability to engage with young people.”
If you have a background of working with young people or you know someone who may be interested, please do apply for one of these unique and impactful roles.
For more information or to apply click here. Applications close on 18th July.
Katy Bourne OBE
Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner
Monday saw the launch of Sussex Police’s latest round of officer recruitment.
This recruitment drive will see more officers working where they are needed most - in our communities. The public deserve the very best police force and I am confident that we will attract high calibre candidates who will serve all our communities well.
We have promised residents of Sussex 250 extra officers by 2023 and only last week I met another cohort (pictured) who will be joining their colleagues out on the beat in just 3 days. If you you know someone who has what it takes to keep Sussex safe then please encourage them to apply here.
Recruitment for Sussex police officers is now open.
In a recent poll on my website 44% of those who voted told me that their biggest concern relating to anti-social behaviour was driving inconsiderately. During this month's Performance & Accountability Meeting (today) I asked senior officers for assurances that they are tackling those who persistently break the law on our roads.
Deputy Chief Constable Jo Shiner commented: “Sadly, a lot of collisions are as a result of anti-social driving and this remains a real priority for us. From the Precept rise we have invested money into roads policing and in particular the serious crash investigation unit. We are also really proactive about enabling the public to report incidents of anti-social driving using Op Crackdown. This has proved very effective in building an intelligence picture for us to use during targeted roads policing campaigns."
Unfortunately due to an unforeseen technical difficulty we were unable to live broadcast our meeting as normal today. However, comprehensive minutes will be available on my website early next week so you can read the other topics on discussion.
The Office for National Statistics has reported Sussex as the area with the highest risk of cash transfers linked to fake romances. This does not surprise me because we know that criminal gangs deliberately target our older residents as they may have substantial savings or be seen to be more trusting.
Sadly, when a possible victim is identified their details are often shared with other criminals and so they are at risk of being re-targeted. This is why I fund two fraud case workers in Sussex who helped and supported 638 people last year alone. Ensuring that those who fall victim to this heinous crime are offered invaluable emotional support as well as practical advice when it is most needed.
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