Sussex Police & Crime Commisioner
My Community Safety Fund continues to help keep Sussex safe with fourteen more local organisations recently awarded funding totalling more than £68,000.
Grants of up to £5,000 are available for groups that provide a positive and lasting impact on the local community. In the latest round of funding, a number of schemes which focus on young people as well as ex-offenders received support including:
- Re-link, a one-to-one mentored literacy programme to support the rehabilitation of ex-offenders, run by The Bridge Community Education Centre in Moulsecoomb, Brighton
- Platform-9, a scheme by the Newhaven Young People’s Forum to work with young people who are carrying out anti-social behaviour in Newhaven, Peacehaven and Seaford
- The Crawley Brunch Club, a new initiative aimed at resettling ex-offenders into the community in partnership with the West Sussex Resettlement Team of the Kent Surrey & Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company
Since launching the Safer in Sussex funding scheme in December 2013, I have allocated more than £1.3m to support over 250 crime reduction and community safety initiatives in the county.
Applications for funding are accepted three times a year. The current window opened on Monday 8 January 2018 and will close on Friday 9 February 2018. For further information, please click here.
You can watch a selection of videos about organisations which have previously received funding grants by visiting the Sussex PCC YouTube channel.
Since launching the Safer in Sussex funding scheme in December 2013, more than £1.3m has been allocated to support over 250 crime reduction and community safety initiatives in the county.
Over the past year, I have been lobbying hard for the best possible funding arrangements for policing. In December, the Government agreed to provide the same level of funding to local forces as last year, as well as providing more for counter-terrorism and national policing priorities.
The Government made it clear, however, that an increasing proportion of policing costs will have to be met by local council taxpayers, and so they have allowed PCCs to raise the amount you pay through the police precept above the previous limit per household.
Next Friday, I will be presenting my Medium Term Financial Strategy to the Police and Crime Panel. This is a publicly available document which shows how Sussex Police needs to resource its response to the challenges of 21st century crime. The strategy also shows the financial context we are operating in and the measures I have taken to secure funding.
Sussex Police was facing a £26.5m funding gap which meant that around 480 posts would ultimately be lost by 2022. I have therefore, made a recommendation to the Police and Crime Panel to raise the precept by £12 per year for an average band D property. Combined with the £17m I have already authorised from our reserves, this substantially reduces the previously planned savings requirements up to 2022 and protects 480 police officer and staff posts.
I have considered several key factors before making this recommendation:
There has been a continuing rise in public demand on police services. At the same time, criminal investigations are becoming increasingly complicated. Our digital footprints create huge amounts of digital material to identify, secure and analyse; and, satisfying the threshold for prosecution is very demanding and time consuming.
The public tell me they want to see investment in more visible, local policing, which focuses on crimes like burglary and anti-social behaviour. Residents also tell me want to feel safe on our roads, in public spaces and when they are out at night-time.
Last year, HMICRFS (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Services), acknowledged the public’s concerns about changes to neighbourhood policing that many forces had made. HMICFRS and counter terror chiefs have also stressed the importance of community intelligence.
In Sussex my consultations and correspondence with the public show that a majority of residents are prepared to support their police service through increased precept contributions. I am very grateful for all those people who took part in the precept survey, and those who made their views known through social media.
Asking residents to pay more for policing is not a decision that I have taken lightly, so I will be looking to the Police and Crime Panel to support my recommendation.
Finally, a reminder that, together with the Chief Constable, I am seeking an individual with the highest level of integrity and accountability to join our Joint Audit Committee as an Independent Member. Find out more about this role by clicking here.
Katy Bourne - Sussex Police & Crime Commisioner
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