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Increase in tax for Sussex Police gets unanimous support

Katy Bourne, the county’s Police & Crime Commissioner, has welcomed a unanimous vote of 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).

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This recommendation was made after substantial online public consultation by the PCC and 13 focus groups held across Sussex in which people said they would pay more for policing if it increased the visibility of local police.

It also follows discussions that the PCC has had with the Chief Constable and his senior team to understand the demands on Sussex Police. The Force’s analysis of the demands on local policing, investigations, roads policing and the need to vastly improve the 101 service, has led them to request:

  • 100 additional PCSOs going back in to the community to provide a reassuring local presence
  • 50 additional police officers to add to the recruitment drive already underway. (The Force already plans to recruit 800 officers by 2022. 600 of these are needed to replace officers who leave or retire, and 200 will be additional officers.)
  • 50 specialist staff and investigators

Commenting after the meeting, Mrs Bourne said:

“I have been lobbying hard to secure the best possible funding arrangements for policing. I am pleased that the Panel has supported my decision to increase the police precept by its maximum for 2019/20, taking full advantage of the flexibility provided by government.

“I recognise that any increase in taxation at any level will be challenging for some of our residents and this is not a decision I have taken lightly. However, I believe it’s the right one to further strengthen local policing and to enable the Chief Constable to focus his resources in the areas that the public tell me matter most to them.

“Following the precept rise last year and money 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.

“I am pleased that the Panel have 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 invest in an all round better service.”

If you missed the panel meeting today you can watch it here: https://eastsussex.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/400975 or if you have any questions about the policing precept you can see the PCC’s answers to the most frequently asked questions or submit your own question here: www.sussex-pcc.gov.uk/FAQ The PCC has also published the results of her online survey and focus groups here: www.sussex-pcc.gov.uk/results  

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Appalling dog attack in Tilgate Park, Crawley

Dog left with ear half ripped off.

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At around 12pm on Tuesday 16th of April an off-the -eash dog, reportedly a Dalmatian, was seen attacking another dog in Tilgate Park.

The owner of Ollie, the dog being attacked, had to intervene and physically drag the Dalmatian off.

According to the owner the lady in charge of the Dalmatian allegedly did nothing but shout its name.

She then apparently said:

‘I’m a professional dog walker, I know what I’m doing’ before walking off with the aggressive dog still off the leash.

Ollie was left with gushing blood from his ear which was half ripped off and his shaken owner rushed him to the vet for emergency treatment.

Ollie is now recovering from the attack.

The police were notified but as there was no information on who the lady was, no further action could be taken.

A Facebook appeal for information was started by Tilgate Councillor Francis Guidera the following morning and someone has already come forward with information which may be very helpful and will be passed on to the police.

Ollie’s owners, as if the distress of this experience wasn’t enough, were left with a £1000 bill leaving them with a sizeable excess to pay for the treatment which is ongoing due to the severity of poor Ollie’s injury.

Cllr Guidera said:

“I am absolutely disgusted by this. We have a dog and I can only imagine how distressing this must have been for Ollie and for his owners. Dogs are treated as part of the family and responsible dog walkers are very welcome in Tilgate Park. Irresponsible dog walkers, however, are absolutely not. If someone cannot control a dog, why on earth would they let it off the leash in what is likely the most popular public park in Sussex?”

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