Additional officers to strengthen policing in Sussex

Sussex Police has an exciting opportunity to strengthen policing with an additional 200 police officers.

These new posts are in addition to protecting nearly 500 police officer and staff posts it had planned to lose as part of its savings plans. The increase in the precept has put the force in a much stronger financial position.

Chief Constable Giles York is determined that the public will feel the difference as he makes changes following the raise in local precept.

CC York said: “Over the last few years, we have dealt with significant challenges created by the financial constraints in which the force has found itself. This has meant difficult decisions have had to be made resulting in fewer people than we had before. Some areas of policing are stretched due to increasing demand and a change in the complexity of what we deal with.

“This change in our financial position has created an exciting opportunity to strengthen areas where it is needed most.”

He has revealed how funding will be used to strengthen local policing, improve ways for the public to make contact and further modernise the service to meet new and increasingly complex demands.

The move will see:

  • The recruitment of hundreds of police officers over the next four years to work across Sussex, which will give us an additional 200 police officers than we have got today.
  • The protection of close to 500 posts planned for removal as a result of the savings plan.
  • A constant review of PCSO recruitment in addition to an increase in officers.
  • Additional officers joining local prevention teams to increase visibility and accessibility, encouraging people to talk and share their knowledge of their neighbourhood and solve local community issues such as anti-social behaviour. This will enable a wider spread of local prevention resources and a greater capacity to work with communities and partners to address local concerns.
  • Increased resources within the Community Investigations Teams, a successfully proven element of the new local policing model, to meet demand better as they deal with crime series, such as burglary and organised crime.
  • Improving ways for the public to contact the police about non-emergency matters in ways that are convenient to them, including a new online portal for reporting incidents and contacting the police.
  • Continued modernisation of services so that officers and staff have the right skills and tools to respond to the increasingly complex policing challenges they face, such as automatic number plate recognition technology in all frontline vehicles to support aims to reduce injuries on the road and fight crime.

The move will see more officers working where they are most needed, prioritising the areas where the communities face the greatest challenges and where the force is most stretched.

CC York said: “This is an exciting step change for the future and allows us to strengthen local policing in a way we couldn’t have planned before.

“I am absolutely committed that the public and police colleagues will feel a difference over the next four years, now that we will have more money than we had previously expected.

“This means we can increase our presence within communities, enhance our investigations teams and improve accessibility when people want to get in contact.”

The new Local Policing Model was designed to meet current demands with the resources available. In November the final element of the scalable new model was launched, holding on to areas of policing which are much valued and transforming others to address the changing nature of crime.

CC York said: “Local policing is at the heart of everything we do and continues to be the foundation of the service we provide to keep people safe and feeling safe. We are undertaking an enormous recruitment drive over the next few years, on a scale we haven’t seen for a long time. Recruiting more police officers and putting them where they are most needed puts us in the best position to achieve our aim as well as further modernising our service.

I am grateful for the commitment of all officers and staff in keeping people safe and making a real difference in the community.”

Read more here.

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