This week the Sussex Independent Custody Visiting (ICV) scheme was given the highest accolade and awarded Platinum Status at a national ceremony in the House of Lords, making it one of only two schemes in the country to achieve this, as our Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, explains:

I fund and support  a team of dedicated volunteers who visit those detained in police custody and check on their welfare, ensuring that their human rights and dignity are being upheld.   I am delighted that the dedication of our volunteers and the management of our scheme are being recognised as first-class best practice locally and nationally.

Sarah Friend, Sussex ICV Manager comments: "I am thrilled to have received the award on behalf of all the amazing ICVs in Sussex. They provide independent oversight of what is happening behind closed doors to people when they are at their most vulnerable. This award gives recognition to the volunteers that what they do is outstanding.”

In this month’s Performance & Accountability Meeting (PAM) with the Chief Constable, I scrutinised how Sussex Police monitors the effectiveness of its training procedures and tracks which officers and staff have received it.

With hundreds of new police officers and PCSOs joining the force and with a huge range of mandatory and specialist training required for modern policing, I want to ensure that training packages are regularly monitored and updated to reflect best practice and keep pace with emerging trends.

Chief Constable Giles York assured me that Sussex Police was committed to providing training from Chief Officer to new recruits, as the force moved towards individuals taking more responsibility to ensure they were fit for duty.

Mr York said that the current spreadsheet recording was outdated and that early next year a new IT platform will provide a more comprehensive tracking of training, skills levels and capabilities.

If you missed the live streaming, you can catch up here.

Sussex Police is encouraging victims of romance fraud - catfishing - to report frauds anonymously, via an online form. They have partnered with Scamalytics to produce this form, that will be sent to dating services, to check against users’ data and detect suspected romance fraudsters.

Reports made to Action Fraud reveal that over £50million was lost to romance fraud in 2018; an average of £11,145 per victim and a 27% increase on the previous year. I want to help raise awareness of this crime so I am running a short poll on my website to find out more about people’s understanding of it. Please take part here.

I have also funded two fraud case workers in Sussex who helped and supported 638 people last year alone by offering invaluable emotional support as well as practical advice. Find out more information on the Victim Support website here.