Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner visited Beacon Academy on Friday (6th) and met with students studying A-Levels in Government & Politics and Criminology.
Katy Bourne wanted to hear their views on crime and policing in the local area.
The visit from the Police and Crime Commissioner came about as part of a wider public consultation about the new police station to be opened in Crowborough and how it can serve the community in the future.
Year 13 student, Shannon, said:
I really enjoyed listening to the proposed changes to the police station. It was really good for the Commissioner to involve us in discussions and make our voices heard.
The students articulated their views incredibly well and were honest about their experiences and opinions of policing locally. There was general agreement that a greater police presence is needed, and that the new police station should feel open and accessible, particularly at times when anti-social behaviour can be an issue.
Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne, said:
I want to make sure that young people have their say about how crime affects them and what they would like to see from their local police station. It was great to meet the students from the Beacon Academy. They were all so switched on to issues facing their communities and gave me things to think about as we increase officer numbers locally and create a new central base for policing in Crowborough.
Mrs Bourne was elected as the first Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex in November 2012 and re-elected in 2016.
She explained to students that PCCs are elected by the supplementary vote method rather than first-past-the-post used to elected MPs.
PCCs appoint and can dismiss the Chief Constable, set the strategic police and crime objectives, hold the police to account on behalf of the public and set the local Council Tax. She told students the budget for policing Sussex is £310m, 60% of the money coming from central government and 40% from Council Tax.
Teacher of Government and Politics, Mrs Kennedy, said:
It was a fantastic opportunity for students to engage in the political process of their local area and learn more about the different journeys into politics. Katy Bourne described her journey into politics and her election to the Police and Crime Commissioner role when it was first created in 2012. The students were interested to hear more about what the role involves, and how the budget and priorities for policing within the county are set. This opportunity broadened students’ understanding of the jobs they could aspire to in the political world, outside of running for MP. It was also clear students felt passionate about the issues being raised and the importance of voting in order to have your say.
Click to complete the survey and have your say on the new police station for Crowborough.
For more information about the role and responsibilities of Police and Crime Commissioners, see the guide prepared for prospective candidates for the May 2020 elections.