Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, has welcomed the unanimous support from the Sussex Police & Crime Panel members who have today (Friday 1 February) backed her decision to increase the police precept by an extra £2 per month (for an average band D property) to further strengthen local policing.
"I have been lobbying hard to secure the best possible funding arrangements and this has been met by the Government with a national funding package for policing of £970m which includes funds to meet our increased pension costs", explains Katy.
"This is not a decision I have taken lightly. However, I believe it’s the right one to further strengthen local policing and enable the Chief Constable to focus his resources in the areas that the public tell me matter most to them.
"Unanimous vote of support from the Sussex Police & Crime Panel members to increase the police precept by an extra £2 per month to further strengthen local policing.
"Following the precept rise last year and the money released from reserves, Sussex Police has already embarked on its biggest recruitment programme for ten years, protecting 476 posts under threat and recruiting 270 police officers. Sussex residents have told me that they welcome this but also say they want to see PCSOs back in communities, more police on our roads and a better 101 service.
"This year the Chief Constable has told me he needs a mix of policing skills to provide a more visible neighbourhood presence, improve contact with the public and to meet a range of complex crime demands.
"I am pleased that the Panel has recognised that I have listened intently to what Sussex residents want and what the Chief Constable needs. With their support we are now able to take this unique opportunity to recruit even more officers and further invest in Sussex Police.
"I have been assured by the Chief Constable that this extra investment in the Force by Sussex residents will be spent on further strengthening local policing. This means an extra:
• 100 PCSOs
• 50 police officers
• 50 investigators and specialist staff"
If you missed the Panel meeting today you can watch it here or, if you have any questions about the policing precept you can see my answers to the most frequently asked questions or submit your own question here.