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Electric cars introduced for police across Sussex & Surrey

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne has announced that some police across Sussex and Surrey will be using electric cars.

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Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne.

Electric cars will be used for non-response, unmarked police vehicles across Sussex and Surrey, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne has announced.

30 BMW i3s per force are set to be deployed on division and in departmental unmarked roles, to replace costly fossil-fuelled vehicles, which had already been identified for replacement during the 2018/19 financial year.

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Mrs Bourne is the ‘driving’ force behind this move towards a greener more efficient police fleet in Sussex. She says the switch will initially save up to £120,000 over five years, just from the reduced fuel, servicing, maintenance and repair costs.

She said:

“I am pleased to see Sussex Police and our partners in Surrey Police taking this innovative step towards cutting their carbon footprint by introducing a more energy-efficient fleet of vehicles.

“As PCC, I have and will continue to explore every opportunity to deliver effective policing whilst reducing costs to local taxpayers. Using these electric cars for certain kinds of police work will not only help to save money but will also be better for our environment, reducing our co2 emissions by more than 470 tonnes over the next 5 years. 

“As the vehicles have been bought at a large discount it reduces the depreciation to virtually zero and the price of fuelling is less than a third of a conventionally powered pool car. We are spending public money so it is vitally important to me that the force find pioneering new ways, like this one, to transform the way things are done whilst still keeping pace with operational requirements.”

The vehicles can be driven for more than 100 miles between charges which mean they could be useful on day-to-day policing activities, such as being used by officers visiting victims or witnesses to take statements, as part of door-to-door inquiries or by crews on short patrols.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry said:

“With an ever-increasing demand to meet future policing needs, these electric vehicles will enable our staff and officers to carry out their daily tasks while also reducing emissions and running costs.

“Modernising policing is a key component of our 18-22 Transformation Plan, and this investment demonstrates our determination to push forward with substantial change, collaboration and technology-driven improvements.

“The BMW i3s will be assessed following a three-year pilot scheme.”

Crime

Two jailed after attempt to smuggle 8.5kgs of cocaine through Gatwick

“This was a deliberate, if unsophisticated attempt to smuggle dangerous Class A drugs into the UK”, says Chris Capel, Assistant Director of Border Force South.

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The drugs, which had been wrapped in plastic and hidden inside boxes marked ‘rum’, weighed approximately 8.5kgs.

Two men from Barbados are facing a total of 13 years in jail after pleading guilty to attempting to smuggle an estimated 8.5kgs of cocaine into the UK.

On 1 September, Border Force officers stopped 62-year-old Grantley Herbert Thompson, and 30-year-old Jamal Ricardo Walcott, in the customs channels at Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal. Both had arrived on a flight from Barbados.

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During a search of their baggage officers discovered a white powder, wrapped in green plastic, and hidden inside boxes marked rum. The powder was subsequently tested and gave a positive reaction to the field test for cocaine. The cocaine had an estimated street value of £535,000.

Chris Capel, Assistant Director of Border Force South said:

“This was a deliberate, if unsophisticated attempt to smuggle dangerous Class A drugs into the UK and I commend the Border Force officers whose work ensured that Thompson and Walcott are now behind bars.

“Illegal drugs have a significant impact on our society, being the root cause behind countless burglaries, thefts and robberies. They are also used as a commodity by organised criminals linked to violence and exploitation of the vulnerable.

“We continue to work with our colleagues from the National Crime Agency (NCA) to do all we can to stamp out this despicable trade and bring those responsible to justice.”

The case was referred to the NCA and Thompson and Walcott were charged with importation of a class A drug.

62-year-old Grantley Thompson.

On Thursday, 11 October the pair appeared at Croydon Crown Court where they admitted the smuggling attempt. Both were sentenced to six years and six months imprisonment immediately.

30-year-old Jamal Walcott.

The Government’s Serious Violence Strategy, which was launched in April, aims to combat the devastating impact drugs have on levels of serious violence.

It also highlights a strong link between drugs and serious violence and the related harm and exploitation from county lines. The Government has set out the action it will take to tackle this violent and exploitative criminal activity. The action of Border Force to stop drugs before they get into the country forms a key part of this work.

Border Force officers use hi-tech search equipment to combat immigration crime and detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country.

Nationally, they use an array of search techniques including sniffer dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners – as well as visual searches – to find well-hidden stowaways, illegal drugs, firearms and tobacco which would otherwise end up causing harm to local people, businesses and communities.

Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or go to https://www.gov.uk/report-smuggling

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