Sussex Police is supporting National Hate Crime Awareness Week, emphasising the importance of reporting hate crime and reinforcing the message that it is not tolerated in Sussex.
The national awareness week, which runs from October 12 to 19, aims to raise understanding of what hate crime is and encourage victims to report it, giving support to victims, their families and communities, and dealing with perpetrators appropriately.
During this week, we will be using social media to share messages of what hate crime is to help give knowledge and confidence to victims to report it to the police. We will be sharing information on how hate crime can escalate if it isn’t reported, real life experiences of victims of hate crime and emphasising that we will always support victims with empathy and respect.
We are also reinforcing the message that it’s not just victims who can report hate crime; witnesses are vital and can play their part too by reporting any incidents seen.
Sussex Police takes reports of such crimes very seriously. Earlier this year at Hove Crown Court, Jasmine Shepherd, 20, was sentenced to eight years and six months in a young offenders’ institute after pleading to the charge of grievous bodily harm with intent. Jasmine hurled homophobic abuse at her victim, before following him into a supermarket in Lancing and then proceeded to throw a bottle of wine at the back of his head. The victim is now left with life-changing injuries including partial deafness.
Sussex Police lead for Hate Crime, Superintendent Ed De La Rue said: “Hate crime is pernicious. Crimes that are motivated by hate can cause high levels of depression, fear and loss of confidence, and it damages communities too. Read more here.
Named PCSO for every local community in Sussex
Every community in Sussex will have a named PCSO starting from next month, Sussex Police has announced.
The confirmation follows an investment in 100 extra PCSOs secured through local funding by the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner – bringing the total number to 296.
Assistant Chief Constable for Local Policing Julia Chapman said the decision will put ‘eyes and ears’ into every part of the county and give local people a direct point of contact for local policing issues and concerns.
“When a new local policing model was introduced three years ago, we said it would be scalable. Now, thanks to this additional investment, we’re in a position to strengthen local policing and we know this is what local communities want to see,” she said.
“Our PCSOs do an incredible job, every day, working alongside their police officer colleagues to prevent and detect crime and tackle anti-social behaviour in local communities.
“This change means communities will soon begin to see and feel the benefits of their investment as new PCSOs are deployed over the coming months, where they will provide a visible policing presence and be a point of contact for local policing issues.”
The change will take effect from November 4, when all existing PCSOs will adopt responsibility for a defined geographical area, and continue to be rolled out over the coming months as additional PCSOs are recruited and deployed.
It comes in addition to recent announcements on the recruitment of 379 additional police officers for the county over the next four years, 250 funded locally and 129 through central Government funding.
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne said: “My focus groups and conversations with local people clearly show that the public want PCSOs back in their communities, forming that essential and reassuring link with police. Read more here.
Meet the new rural crime PCSOs for Sussex
Sussex Police is committed to keeping those living and working in rural communities safe and feeling safe.
A year on from the launch of the Rural Crime Strategy, today (Monday, 07/10/19) the first group of dedicated rural crime Police and Community Support Officers (PCSOs) are all set to begin specialist training so they can provide isolated rural communities with the specific support they need.
The six trainees, who are all experienced PCSOs, will be based in local districts across Sussex, where they will be dedicated to tackling rural crime and issues affecting those communities such as machinery theft, livestock worrying and poaching.
To mark the launch of Rural Crime Awareness Week, some of the new Rural Crime PCSOs were joined on their first training day at Black Cap Farm in Lewes by Deputy Chief Constable Jo Shiner, Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne and National Farming Union rep, Romy Jackson.
Watched by the visitors, the trainees had a lesson in property marking from Rural Crime Lead Sergeant Tom Carter to help protect farmer Tony Monnington’s machinery from theft.
Read more here.
Extra 129 police officers for Sussex announced
Frontline police officers in Sussex are set to increase by a further 129 by 2021, the Home Office has announced.
The Sussex allocation of the first phase of an additional 20,000 police officers across the UK has been welcomed by Chief Constable Giles York and Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne.
The additional funding will form part of Sussex Police’s on-going transformation plans to strengthen local policing and meet the challenges of changing demand.
Giles York said: “Sussex Police is already in a period of growth and today’s announcement will make it one of the largest ever increases to frontline policing in Sussex in a single year.
“This will help us close the increasing demand gap and strengthen our response to tackle those issues that cause the most harm including violent crime and rise in county lines. These additional officers will make a tangible and noticeable difference to our local communities.”
Sussex Police is in the process of recruiting hundreds of additional police officers, detectives, PCSOs and police staff in the next few years, including now an extra 370 police constables, 100 PCSOs and 50 police staff above those replaced through natural turnover.
Katy Bourne said: “At the National Policing Board yesterday, ministers confirmed that funding to recruit the first tranche of 6000 police officers is being allocated to forces and Sussex will be able to recruit 129 over the next 18 months.
“This is on top of the 250 extra police officers that Sussex Police have already started recruiting over the next four years. It is great news and means that Sussex Police numbers will have risen by 379.
“I know that Sussex residents will welcome the prospect of even more police officers that will further strengthen local policing and provide a visible deterrent in our communities.”
Help us keep Sussex safe
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Anna Habdas (Police, Prevention Support and Engagement Officer, Sussex)