TIM DREW: Extra funds will help strengthen police forces

Tim Drew
Tim Drew

Sussex police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne has welcomed the recent decision by the police and crime panel to accept a £5 increase in the policing part of the council tax for next year.

In an extensive, eight-week consultation, nearly 80 per cent of residents who responded told Mrs Bourne that they supported her proposals. The extra funds raised will help provide more than a hundred additional Sussex Police officers and specialist staff to strengthen four areas of local policing: community priority crime teams; specialist firearms officers; public protection investigators; and expert youth teams.

The PCC’s office has also provided funding for more than a thousand body-worn video cameras to officers serving on the front line. Research shows these cameras go a long way towards defusing a potentially volatile situation and reducing the chance of officers being injured. Mrs Bourne has also issued a reminder that she is inviting applications for her Community Safety/Safer in Sussex fund, which supports local community groups that actively help reduce or prevent crime in Sussex.

Since the fund was launched, the PCC’s office has allocated over £1million to more than 200 local crime reduction and community safety initiatives.

Grants of up to £5,000 are available for suitable projects. Applications will close next Friday (February 3).

Readers may not yet know about the Yale Crime Watcher app, which features an easy postcode look-up function displaying current burglary statistics within a mile of your home, during a one-month period. The app is powered by the Police API system, meaning that the information is up-to-date and accurate.

Finally, it was also raised at last week’s Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation meeting that some people (particularly the elderly) are reluctant to use the 999 emergency number because they do not wish to bother the police.

The message remains that you are the eyes and ears of the police and, if in any doubt, use 999 instead of 101.

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