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Now’s your chance to question the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner

Residents are being given the chance to question the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne.

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Questions can be about any policy issue relating to policing in Sussex as long as they avoid mentioning operational matters or live cases.

Written questions should be submitted by 12 noon on Friday 17 January.

The Commissioner will then respond during the next meeting of the Sussex Police and Crime Panel on Friday 31 January.

Bill Bentley, Chairman of the Sussex Police and Crime Panel, said:

“Do you have a question about how your money is to be spent on policing in West Sussex? Would you like to know more about the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner’s role? This is a great opportunity to put your questions to Katy Bourne.

“Make sure you come along to the meeting next month to hear the answers in person.”

The main items on the agenda include the Police Crime Commissioner’s proposed precept which is the portion of council tax which goes to Sussex Police and the Estate’s Strategy.

Questions about other issues are also welcomed providing they fall within the Commissioner’s responsibility.

Questions can be submitted in writing to pcp@westsussex.gov.uk or by telephoning 0330 222 2542.

The meeting will be held at County Hall, Lewes, starting at 10.30am. The meeting will also be webcast live at www.eastsussex.public-i.tv/core/portal/home.

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Safety warning calls after two washing fires including one in Southgate, Crawley

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Firefighters are reminding householders of some simple safety steps when using electrical appliances such as tumble dryers and washing machines.

It follows two incidents in two days.

In the first incident firefighters were called after a pile of folded washing caught fire after being tumble-dried over the weekend.

A crew from Bognor Regis Fire Station was mobilised at 01.56am on Saturday to reports of a fire in a home on Lion Road in Pagham.

Upon arrival, firefighters found the property was heavily smoked logged, but thanks to a working smoke alarm, the three occupants had been alerted and had been able to escape from the property.

The fire started after the home owner had washed and tumble-dried some towels earlier on in the evening. These were then stacked and put in a hessian type bag in the hallway. But in the early hours of the morning, the towels, which had self-heated, began to smoke and caught fire. Fortunately, the homeowner had a working smoke alarm.

Crews removed the towels to fresh air and extinguished them.

In the second incident  at 4.10pm on Sunday, firefighters were called to a washing machine fire in a first floor flat in Imperial Mews. Two appliances from Crawley and a Surrey Fire & Rescue Service crew from Salfords were mobilised. On arrival, firefighters wearing two sets of breathing apparatus extinguished the fire using a hose reel and a CO2 extinguisher.

The fire damaged washing machine was removed from the property. Nobody was injured during the incident, but the property sustained smoke damage which meant the resident needed alternative accommodation for the night.

Simon Foster, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s Performance Risk and Improvement Team Group Manager said:

“At this time of year, people are using their tumble dryers far more than at other times of the year.

“When taking clothes out of the tumble dryer, make sure you wait for laundry to cool down before putting it away. Oil residue and oxygenating chemicals from stain removing detergents can create a chemical reaction causing items like tea towels to self-heat, smoulder and could catch fire.

“Once clothes have cooled down, make sure you store them in a well-ventilated area.”  

The fire service is reminding people of the following safety tips when using electrical appliances:

•Look out for product recall notices.

•Register your appliance – appliances up to 12 years old can be registered on the Register My Appliance website.

•Don’t run appliances such as tumble dryers, washing machines or dishwashers overnight or when you are out.

•Always read the manufacturer’s instructions.

•Have your appliance serviced by a qualified engineer.

•Do not put rags or materials into a tumble dryer if they have been used to soak up flammable liquids. You can find out more about home fire safety by visiting the West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service website here: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire-emergencies-and-crime/west-sussex-fire-and-rescue-service/home-fire-safety/electrical-and-heating-appliance-safety-advice/

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