An update from the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne OBE, on increased protection for Sussex Police officers and the public.
This week it was announced that we have been successful in our bid to the Home Office to equip more officers across Sussex and Surrey with Tasers. It was confirmed that a total of £462,000 has been awarded to fund 560 devices between both forces.
This will mean an extra 291 new Tasers for Sussex Police, bringing the total to more than 1,100. Both forces can now achieve their ambition of making Tasers available for any police officer who wants one (estimated to be 80% of the frontline).
On Monday I saw Taser training in action for myself and I’m confident that they will act first and foremost as a deterrent to criminals who wish to cause harm to themselves or others. Officers I spoke to welcome this addtional equipment and they hope it will help to reduce assaults and abuse towards them, which has seen a 13% rise locally in the last year.
Today I visited Crowborough to speak with residents about my consultation on the new police station. Whilst there I met students from the Beacon Academy Sixth Form so they could have their say about crime in the area and what they want from their local police station.
Student Shannon (18) said: "A police station is a symbol of reassurance for the community and warns off criminals. I want somewhere safe and open for people to report crime."
Residents have until the 27th March to have their say. The survey can be found online here.
Yesterday the Minister for Crime and Policing, Kit Malthouse held the first Home Office ‘Tackling Crime Forum’ for Police & Crime Commissioners nationally to discuss ways of reducing serious violence, knife crime and drugs in our communities.
We all have a commitment to cutting crime and it was interesting to hear of the vast range of iniatives being developed across the country by my colleagues to address the root causes/drivers of criminality before it escalates.
For instance, here in Sussex, the REBOOT programme developed by my office has aided in the reduction of anti-social behaviour by 7% and has provided early intervention to over 800 vulnerable young people who were in danger of being exploited into organised crime and serious violence.