Meeting to discuss concerns about the level of policing in Crowborough

The Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne has been invited to Crowborough to answer concerns that the town is being deprived of police officers.

Katy Bourne, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner

Katy Bourne, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner

In October, Sussex Police announced that it was considering making major changes to the role of Police Community Support Officers which might see numbers of staff reduced by as much as a third by 2018.  Crowborough Town Council, which has paid for a dedicated PCSO for the town, were also told that from 6th April, this arrangement could no longer continue.

Asst Chief Con Robin Smith said:

The design is part of a broader need to transform neighbourhood and local policing, making the role more responsive, with greater responsibility and capability to solve local problems.

We cannot, however, shy away from the fact that there are fewer PCSOs in the new model.

Under the plans the role of PCSOs will have “an increased focus on prevention and problem solving rather than predominantly on reassurance.”

Unison, which represents PCSO, warned rural area like Crowborough, Uckfield and Battle would not have the same level of local policing as Brighton or Hastings.

As a result of concerns Malcolm Sanger, Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator for St Johns and the North Ward, wrote to Katy Bourne and invited her to come to Crowborough.  She has agreed to do so on 22nd March.  Malcolm explained that in the past police representatives regularly used to meet with members of neighbourhood watch and local councillors to discuss issues and concerns the public had about crime and disorder in the town, but recently the police have stopped attending.  Malcolm said:
At the meeting in January everyone was extremely concerned.   We felt we weren’t getting any information and we also felt the level of policing we are going to get is going to be diminished.

The meeting which is open to the public is on Tuesday 22nd March starting at 7pm at Crowborough Community Centre.

Police and Crime Commissioner elections are being held on 5th May.  Katy Bourne will be standing for re-election. For more background information please click here.

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