A police update from the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne OBE ...

"In Essex last month, a tragic incident occurred which has pushed human trafficking, people smuggling and modern slavery to the forefront of public consciousness. Today, during this month’s Performance & Accountability meeting, I questioned senior officers on the challenges for Sussex Police in respect of such crimes and how they are tackling them.

"Deputy Chief Constable Jo Shiner said: “We have introduced a specialist training course to enable officers to better identity these crimes and support those affected. We make full use of our powers to protect victims when they are identified.”

"I was also encouraged to hear of the continued improvements to the waiting times for the 101 non-emergency number. In October 2018 there was an average waiting time of 17m 57s and that has now reduced to an average of 7m 39s. This is astonishing, considering that during October this year there was an increase in callers by 7,000, in comparison to last year.

"Sussex is well underway with the recruitment of the extra 250 officers as promised in last year’s precept and with the latest uplift announcement by the government, the Force is working hard to strengthen local policing even further. Chief Constable Giles York said: “We are growing as an organisation and officer numbers will continue to grow. We have also had a welcome increase in the numbers of women, BAME and LGBTQ+ applicants."

"On Wednesday this week I officially opened the second tranche of my Safer in Sussex Community Safety Fund. Organisations across Sussex now have the opportunity to bid for funding of up to £5,000 to help keep our county safe.

"From organisations helping to provide homeless people with a bed for the night, to sports projects for young people this funding is making a real difference to local people and neighbourhoods.

"To qualify, projects should demonstrate how they will increase or promote community safety within the local community, offer evidence to support the need for the project and show how it helps to prevent offending and reduce re-offending.

"The window for applications is open until 11 December. For more information and to apply please visit: www.sussex-pcc.gov.uk/get-involved/apply-for-funding/