A Sussex policing update from our Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne OBE ...
The Rural Crime Team is working with landowners and enquiries are ongoing so if you have any information – in particular, evidential footage – please report online or call 101.
This week the Home Affairs Select Committee published its first Violence and Abuse Towards Retail Workers Report. It recognised (on pages 34 & 35) the progress made in Sussex to tackle business crime and the positive impact that my Safer Sussex Business Partnership has had.
We now better understand the scale of shoplifting, abuse and assaults and are working hard to overcome data-sharing barriers to help identify prolific offenders and make reporting incidents easier for shopworkers.
I am encouraged by the way that Sussex Police has gripped business crime with a Divisional Commander now leading a dedicated team that includes specially trained officers in our call centre and support for businesses to capture and transfer vital digital evidence.
Our One Touch Reporting pilot with the Co-op and NBCS, highlighted in the report, should be extended to other retailers and other forces. As the APCC Business Crime Lead, I will be doing all I can to continue to make protecting our local high streets a top priority nationally.
On Tuesday I met with twenty-five new constables who were formally sworn into the force and I am looking forward to safely seeing them patrolling our streets very soon.
I applaud the senior officers who have worked hard finding new ways to meet recruitment targets in the pandemic. In the last financial year, we have welcomed an extra 129 officers through the Government uplift and an additional 50 through the rise in the police precept of local council tax.
Plans for 2021/22 will see the force recruit over 240 new officers which will replace any predicted to leave during this period, as well as achieve a net increase of 117.
More visible, proactive policing is what local residents want to see and Sussex Police are delivering on that with even more boots on the ground.
Project Adder was launched earlier this year by the Home Office with the aim of tackling drug-related harm and reducing drug-related deaths in five key areas across the UK.
As one of those areas, Hastings benefits from a share of the £148 million investment in the scheme, which will run until March 31 2023.
The funding so far has enabled police to carry out patrols and days of action. Since January, officers have arrested 33 people on suspicion of drugs supply, possession, money laundering and trafficking children for criminal exploitation.
As well as enforcement, they have also safeguarded vulnerable people and worked closely with partners to ensure that they are supported and protected.
I’m pleased that this project is already having such a positive impact. Helping people with their addiction, stopping exploitation and arresting those responsible, will help break the cycle of the criminal behaviour that fuels the drug economy.
Katy Bourne OBE
Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner