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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  

Lifestyle

“Scams can happen to anyone” says West Sussex Trading Standards

Residents are being encouraged to come forward and report scams this June.

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West Sussex Trading Standards is urging the public not to feel embarrassed if they fall victim to a scam.

“Scams can happen to anyone” is the message of this year’s national Scams Awareness Campaign.

Trading Standards officers and Citizens Advice will be attending a range of events across the county, including Crawley, to provide information on scams and to offer tips to avoid falling victim to fraudulent activity. These are taking place on:

•           Tuesday 18 June from 11am to 1pm at Tesco, Jane Murray Way, Burgess Hill
•           Thursday 20 June from 11am to 1pm at Sainsbury’s, Bannister Way, Haywards Heath
•           Thursday 20 June from 9:30am to 1pm at Tesco, Fishbourne Road, Chichester
•           Saturday 22 June from 12 noon to 5pm at Crawley Festival, Memorial Gardens, Crawley
•           Thursday 27 June from 9:30am to 1pm at Tesco, Shripney Road, Bognor Regis

Debbie Kennard, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, said:

“Falling victim to a scam can leave people feeling embarrassed and reluctant to come forward. Removing the stigma around scams is vital and I would urge people to come along to these events and talk about their experiences.”

Anyone concerned about scams can get advice from the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

You can learn more about scams and report fraud and cybercrime at: www.actionfraud.police.uk

Report an incident or concern direct to West Sussex Trading Standards Service online: www.westsussex.gov.uk/tsreport

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