Crawley councillor Michael Jones will be Labour’s prospective candidate for this May’s Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections.
The town’s representative on the Sussex Police and Crime Panel pledged to stop cuts to community policing on his first day on the job.
The number of Sussex Police Community Support Officers has been set to be cut by almost a third by March 2018.
Cllr Jones said: “I’m very proud that Sussex Labour members have chosen me to be their candidate for the forthcoming PCC elections and I thank them for their support. The Sussex PCC must be the champion for all the communities of Sussex in tackling crime and upholding public safety against the background of devastating cuts to the Police and other blue light services by the Tory Government.
“There are currently falling numbers of arrests as Sussex Police numbers decline, at a time that the county’s crime rate is rising. We can do better. The current Tory PCC for Sussex has chosen to be an “on-message” cheerleader for the cuts inflicted on the force. She has toed the party line and downplayed the severity of the cuts. The role for a new PCC must be to take fair decisions and put Sussex residents first, whilst not ignoring financial realities.
“I will work for the people of Sussex, ensuring that the priorities and concerns of local residents are the priorities and concerns of the Police. On the first day of being elected, I will put a freeze on the current round of cuts to community policing proposed by the Tory PCC and do whatever is necessary to explore alternative ways to save Sussex’s much loved and valued PCSOs and community Police Officers. I will prioritise work by Sussex Police to heighten awareness and give advice to prevent vulnerable and elderly people being targeted by internet and telephone scams, and to put additional resources into pursuing the fraudsters. I will also work to ensure the problems associated with low level nuisance are given proper attention.”
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