Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner says planned improvements will ‘make our county even safer’

Extra powers and personnel given to Sussex Police will make the county a hostile environment for criminals, according to the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner.

PCC Katy Bourne praised new measures promised by the Government in the Queen’s Speech last month.

DM19103293a.jpg. Missing person search exercise with Search Dogs, Sussex. PCC Katy Bourne. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-191019-191449008

DM19103293a.jpg. Missing person search exercise with Search Dogs, Sussex. PCC Katy Bourne. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-191019-191449008

It included a commitment to recruit 20,000 police officers nationwide, following cuts of 21,000 officers over the last decade.

“The Queen’s speech set out a reassuring combination of measures to improve the effectiveness of the Criminal Justice System, including tougher sentencing and more support for victims,” said Mrs Bourne, a Conservative politician.

“A confirmation of the commitment to recruit an additional 20,000 police officers was also welcome news for all and the proposed new legislative programme will give officers much needed extra powers, support and protection.

“In Sussex, we’ve already begun our largest recruitment drive in ten years and I’ve been listening to residents across the county to hear how hundreds more police officers and PCSOs are boosting public confidence and making them feel safer.”

Funding for an extra 250 officers has been secured from council tax precept contributions and a further 129 have been promised from the Government’s commitment to replacing the officers removed since 2010.

In her December speech, the Queen said new laws would require schools, police, councils and health authorities to work together to prevent serious crime.

Mrs Bourne pointed to the REBOOT scheme, an early intervention project launched in 2018 that encourages young people to stay away from crime. She said more than 500 young people were already involved.

A new tactical enforcement unit was also launched in December, targeting those behind serious violence, county lines drugs running and organised crime.

Mrs Bourne said the Home Office had made £880,000 funding available to combat violent crime and help agencies to work together.

She added: “This extra money will allow them to continue a range of targeted programmes in our communities including early intervention, rehabilitation and diversionary activities.

“Combined with the recent launch of the tactical enforcement unit, this demonstrates how Sussex Police are working to make our county even safer for residents and more hostile than ever before for criminals.”