Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner
This week my Independent Custody Visiting (ICV) scheme was given the highest accolade and awarded Platinum Status at a national ceremony in the House of Lords, making it one of only two schemes in the country to achieve this.
I fund and support a team of dedicated volunteers who visit those detained in police custody and check on their welfare, ensuring that their human rights and dignity are being upheld. I am delighted that the dedication of our volunteers and the management of our scheme are being recognised as first-class best practice locally and nationally.
Sarah Friend, Sussex ICV Manager comments: "I am thrilled to have received the award on behalf of all the amazing ICVs in Sussex. They provide independent oversight of what is happening behind closed doors to people when they are at their most vulnerable. This award gives recognition to the volunteers that what they do is outstanding.”
A huge thank you to Sarah and to all of our independent custody visiting volunteers.
In this month’s Performance & Accountability Meeting (PAM) with the Chief Constable, I scrutinised how Sussex Police monitors the effectiveness of its training procedures and tracks which officers and staff have received it.
With hundreds of new police officers and PCSOs joining the force and with a huge range of mandatory and specialist training required for modern policing, I want to ensure that training packages are regularly monitored and updated to reflect best practice and keep pace with emerging trends.
Chief Constable Giles York assured me that Sussex Police was committed to providing training from Chief Officer to new recruits, as the force moved towards individuals taking more responsibility to ensure they were fit for duty.
Mr York said that the current spreadsheet recording was outdated and that early next year a new IT platform will provide a more comprehensive tracking of training, skills levels and capabilities.
If you missed the live streaming, you can catch up here.
Sussex Police is encouraging victims of romance fraud - catfishing - to report frauds anonymously, via an online form. They have partnered with Scamalytics to produce this form, that will be sent to dating services, to check against users’ data and detect suspected romance fraudsters.
Reports made to Action Fraud reveal that over £50million was lost to romance fraud in 2018; an average of £11,145 per victim and a 27% increase on the previous year. I want to help raise awareness of this crime so I am running a short poll on my website to find out more about people’s understanding of it. Please take part here.
I have also funded two fraud case workers in Sussex who helped and supported 638 people last year alone by offering invaluable emotional support as well as practical advice. Find out more information on the Victim Support website 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