STEYNING is without a permanent PCSO until a comprehensive review by Sussex Police is complete.
The town has said farewell to PCSO Tom Slaughter, who is moving on to become a police constable, but Horsham Neighbourhood Policing Team does not have a permanent replacement to cover his parishes – Steyning, Ashurst, Upper Beeding, Bramber and Wiston.
Chief Inspector Howard Hodges said: “Sussex Police is currently going through a comprehensive period of review under our Target Operating Model (TOM).
“Until we know the outcome of this review, we are unable to allocate permanent PCSOs to these areas.”
Other members of the Horsham neighbourhood team will respond to incidents or concerns raised by the public, as well as carrying out patrols, in the meantime.
Steyning Parish Council chairman Phil Bowell said: “It is with regret that we were advised that PCSO Tom Slaughter has been offered the position of police constable. Regret because Tom has been a significant part of the police family for us in Steyning. Working alongside our wardens, he has performed an outstanding role.
“We will look for the appropriate authority to nominate a permanent replacement for Tom as quickly as possible as security in our community needs a seamless approach.
“The loss of such a key individual will be to the detriment of the community, unless Tom is replaced.”
George Cockman, who represents Steyning on Horsham District Council, said PCSOs played a vital part in neighbourhood policing. “I am delighted for Tom Slaughter. He has served us all very cheerfully and efficiently, and I wish his every success.
“I hope Sussex Police recognise our need for their support and in turn give them all the support and encouragement they need and deserve.”
Sue Rogers, a parish councillor and Horsham’s cabinet member for a safer and healthier district, added: “Over the years, we have had some excellent PCSOs and many of them continue to serve in Horsham district.”