Wealden welcomes new police inspector Jon Gross

A new police Inspector has taken over in Wealden following the retirement of Inspector Tony Wakefield.

Now in charge is Inspector Jon Gross, 51, who come March will have clocked up 27 years’ service with the police in Sussex.

He began his career in Brighton, where he was involved in community policing and during which time he was promoted to sergeant.

He then moved to the East Sussex division, working as a detective in Newhaven, and since 2007 has been part of the force’s public protection team, latterly as an inspector.

Insp Gross has experience of dealing with missing persons, paedophile investigations and was the senior investigating officer for Op Perry, an investigation into non-recent sexual abuse by three Sussex priests.

Of his new role in Wealden he said:

It’s an exciting and challenging area and I am delighted to have been selected to this post. My priority will be to manage

Inspector Jon Gross

our resources so that we provide the right policing response to our towns and rural communities.

At times that may involve drawing on resources from around the division, something we have implemented very successfully already this month.

In order to tackle a spike in vehicle crime and burglary we recently deployed officers from across East Sussex to support the Wealden Prevention Team. In a two-week period in mid-January this concerted activity resulted in three separate arrests for burglaries in Crowborough and north Wealden, and the arrest and remand in custody of a man for a spate of thefts from cars in Hailsham and Polegate.

Inspector Gross, and the acting District Commander for Eastbourne, Lewes and Wealden, Chief Inspector Anita Turner, both attended Crowborough Town Council this week.  ACI Turner said she had been reviewing the crime statistics both in Crowborough, and found that the increase seen locally is being mirrored across in similar areas the country.  She accepted that while the new police model is not universally popular, it had allowed resources to be used to target areas where problems were reported.  One of the questioned asked concerned why Hailsham Police Station was open longer hours even though the population of Crowborough was larger.  Another issue discussed was the monitoring of the town’s CCTV cameras particularly in relation to the Christmas tree that was vandalised.

Insp Gross added:

Although I’ve not policed Wealden before, I am no stranger to the district, having lived here for many years and attended school in Hailsham.  I am really enjoying my new role, and have already met many tremendously committed community groups, council colleagues, and local and district councillors.  I want people to know that I am here to listen and to help support initiatives that keep our Wealden communities safe.

Crowborough Police Station is open from Monday to Friday from 10am until 2pm.  You can contact your local policing team by phoning 01273 404938 or using the email wealden@sussex.pnn.police.uk.

The District Priorities are:

  1. Tackling anti-social behaviour across the district.
  2. Protecting vulnerable people from fraud, domestic abuse, stalking and harassment.
  3. Reducing the numbers of people killed and seriously injured on our roads.

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