The final change has been made to Sussex Police’s new local policing model, completing the transformation process that began in 2015.
The force has said the newly-formed “Prevention Teams” – made up of PCSOs, Police Officers and civillian staff – are now working more efficiently and effectively to prevent crime and to actively target local issues.
Watch Chief Constable, Giles York in conversation with Trevor Leggo, the Chief Executive of the Sussex Association of Local Councils (SALC). SALC represents the interests of parish and town councils in the county.
Chief Constable Giles York said:
Working smarter allows my officers and staff to direct their efforts to where they are most needed.
We have tried to preserve neighbourhood policing as it has been valued across Sussex for a number of years. There have been incredibly challenging times and we have had to make some difficult decisions as we manage operating with new demands and fewer people – choosing where best my officers should spend their time to keep people as safe as possible.
We are holding on to areas of policing which are much valued and transforming others to address the changing nature of crime and evolving crime types.
The launch of our local policing model, along with our vision for future policing, shows our commitment to be accessible and maintain the safest communities.
I am really pleased with the model because I think it not only meets the needs of the community but it’s also flexible to meet emerging threats, providing resilience for the future.
Local policing includes the “Prevention Teams”, working with partners to identify the best ways to solve problems; “Response Teams” responding to emergencies and being there when they are needed and “Investigation Teams” investigating professionally and effectively.
— Wealden Police (@Wealden_Police) November 10, 2017
Chief Constable York said:
The three teams within local policing work tirelessly together to keep Sussex safe, but they don’t work alone. Over and above this are force, regional and national services delivered in support of local policing.
We are delivering this in a more economical and effective way by collaborating with Surrey Police in areas such as roads policing, firearms and major crime. This collaboration is extended further through units such as regional counter terrorist teams and national assets like the National Crime Agency. It should be reassuring that we are equipped to resolve issues with our partners and communities up to the highest levels of combating serious organised crime against the most vulnerable in our communities.
We have seen a dramatic change in the demands put upon us. We have strengthened our investigative response to increasing reports of child sexual exploitation, domestic abuse and serious sexual offences, allowing us to respond and improve public safety and bring offenders to justice. With criminals shifting their efforts online we are tackling cybercrime with specialist skills, investment in technology and partner working worldwide. Threats from serious and organised crime, such as human trafficking, can only be combated effectively by working collaboratively and threats of terrorism see us resolute in preventing and preparing to respond as new tactics emerge.
The force is policing more efficiently by embracing technology and multi-agency working, putting in processes to resolve problems quickly and engaging with the public in ways that suit individual needs.
Officers are using technology to be more mobile and efficient in our response; enabling them be more accessible and to gain better information in order to make informed decisions. Aiming to prevent crime, analysts are helping direct patrols when and where they are most needed and enabling people to gain timely support and advice over the phone. In its first year the Investigations and Resolution Centre has reduced the need for officers to attend in 42,000 cases, enabling them to be redeployed to attend those in need.
Katy Bourne, Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, said:
With the launch of the new Prevention teams this week, the public will soon be seeing how Sussex Police has transformed the way it works, complementing the earlier changes to Response and Investigation within the Local Policing model.
When the Chief Constable began the changes in 2015, I welcomed the ambition to police within our means and to embrace innovation and technology and more efficient ways of working.
Sussex Police must deploy its officers and resources where they can have the greatest impact both in detecting and preventing crimes and that will mean visible changes to some communities.
To retain public confidence, the Prevention teams will need to reach out to the public and show that, although the service may look different on the ground, it remains effective, alert and absolutely focused on the issues that matter to local people.
As the Prevention teams begin work, I will be closely monitoring their outputs whilst, at the same time, listening and talking to Sussex residents to ensure their experience and feedback is properly reflected in the service they receive.