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Unacceptable! 101’s humiliating rise in waiting times across Sussex

A rise of almost 600% during one month alone compared to last year.

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A recent performance and accountability meeting between the Sussex Police Commissioner and the Chief Constable Giles York has revealed shocking figures around the increase in waiting times for 101 calls.

Referring to figures provided by the police, the commissioner Katy Bourne noted that figures between May ’17 and May ’18 showed an overwhelming 588% rise in waiting times.

The average waiting time in May ’17 was only 2 minutes 4 secs whilst the same period this year (2018) was 14 minutes 39 seconds.

The rest of the year faired no better with comparisons between Aug ’17 and ’18 showing an increase of over 200%.

What makes these figures even more alarming is there was also a drop of almost 20% in call volume for both periods.

But Chief Constable Giles York responded by saying that there had been a huge increase in the number of reports now done online, an increase of over 44,000.

The problem he said was that whilst there was an increase in this online reporting, it was still being handled by the same number of people that took the calls and this is where the problem most likely lay.

The Commissioner also pointed out that figures clearly showed that in just one year drop out figures for 101 (calls abandoned by people trying to get through) had more than doubled.

Mr York said that when a person calls 101, the first thing they will hear is his voice saying:
“If you think you can report this online then please do because it might be better for you as an experience”

The Chief Constable went on to say that they were also seeing a large number of calls being abandoned after only 4 minutes.

They also did a survey to ask how many people who had used the online service had tried to use other means to contact the police and a worrying 62% said they had.

It seems that the digital age is creeping into all aspects of society now and with a recent recruitment drive by the police for officers there now is a question of the need to increase support staff as well.

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Northgate man sentenced to 18 years for sexual assaults on 10-year-old girl

A Crawley man has been given an 18-year-prison sentence for sexual assaults on a young girl.

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John Cole, 33, a mechanic, of Oak Way, Crawley, was sentenced at Hove Crown Court on Friday (11 October) having been found guilty after a five-day trial, of two offences of rape and four offences of engaging in sexual activity, against the 10-year-old girl between 2017 and 2018.

He will also be a registered sex offender for life.

Detective Constable Kirstie Prentice of the West Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit said;

“Cole came to know the young girl over a period of time and systematically sexually abused her, taking advantage of her age and natural vulnerability for his own sexual gratification, telling her her that if she told anyone they would both go to prison.

“Only when her mother found a note hidden in a backpack in the girl’s bedroom revealing she had been assaulted by him did the offending come to light, and police were informed.

“She has very bravely supported the investigation throughout and gave evidence against Cole in court, with special measures including a screen to help her.”

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