Sussex Police gives £60,000 to good causes during Covid-19 lockdown
Volunteers at Stonepillow
Sussex Police has given more than £60,000 to charities and good causes in the county during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The money has come from the Police Property Act Fund (PPAF) - a pot of money made up from the sale of found property and from property confiscated by order of the court and then sold.
The main aim of the fund is to support local projects undertaken by voluntary and charitable organisations that solely benefit the communities of Sussex.
Since April 13, Sussex Police has dished out £60,000 to 78 groups that have been providing support for people during the coronavirus pandemic.
One of those to benefit is Brighton-based Volunteering Matters, which has been supporting the elderly community during lockdown by doing their shopping and keeping them entertained.
The group, which received a £1,000 grant from Sussex Police, also runs regular sing-along sessions which have been described as 'the highlight of the week' and 'an escape from day-to-day life' by those who take part. Read more here.
Sussex Police focus remains on core policing services
Police across Sussex will focus on their core role of preventing and detecting crime and protecting the most vulnerable, as people enjoy new freedom to spend more time outside.
Changes were made by the Government earlier this week to moderate stringent lockdown rules, in place to reduce the spread of coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives.
People can now spend as much time outside as they wish for activities and can travel for activity as long as they do not stay overnight.
Some rules remain in place however, for example to prevent large gatherings or people travelling for holiday purposes or to stay in second homes.
Assistant Chief Constable Dave Miller said: “The policing role in Sussex has never changed.
“We are here to prevent, investigate and detect crime and to keep people safe, and this is evidenced in the on-going efforts of police officers and staff to proactively tackle crime, take criminals off the streets and provide support to victims that need our help.
“The policing role has never been to enforce social distancing – that is a matter of personal responsibility, and we have been encouraged by the vast majority of people adhering to this.
“In this new phase, the police will support partner agencies to deter and deal with clear breaches of the new rules, such as people gathering in groups, but very much with our existing approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging first and using enforcement as a last resort.
“We are all in this together, we want to prevent a second spike in the infection, and so, above all, we urge people to follow the new guidance for their own benefit and to prevent harm to others.”
Figures released today (Friday 15 May) showed that 655 fines were issued to people who breached the lockdown rules between 27 March to 11 May inclusive.
Of these, 297 fines were issued in the past two weeks - the vast majority of which were over the hot early May bank holiday weekend, when Sussex saw an influx of visitors from outside the county which was, at that time, against government regulations. Read more here.
A huge thank you to our Special Constables
We want to say a huge thank you to our Special Constables across Sussex – we are so appreciative of the 5368 hours that have been volunteered by you during lockdown.
We have been humbled by your commitment and passion during these unprecedented times in supporting our response and being part of the flourishing community spirit we have seen in response to the pandemic. Thanks to you and your employers who have supported you in being able to do this.
Back in November we opened recruitment for Special Constables and received 208 applications. Unfortunately we’ve had to cancel the training due to start in May due to Covid-19 but please know you haven't been forgotten.
Every volunteer who has given their time during this pandemic deserves praise for their selfless actions, their work underpins that done by our key workers and the many quietly assisting others in our communities. Thank you!
SHARE THE ROADS RESPONSIBLY. SLOW DOWN AND SAVE LIVES
This is the message Sussex Safer Roads Partnership will be reminding the public of, as they continue work to combat the high speeds taking place on Sussex roads.
Following on from the Prime Minister’s speech on Sunday 10th May, the government has released updated information regarding ongoing lockdown restrictions. The new guidance addresses aspects such as the return to work, social distancing and avoidance of public transport where possible. These changes will undoubtedly have an effect on road use and safety across the roads of Sussex.
“At this time, it is essential that people are able to exercise for both physical and mental health” comments Chief Inspector Michael Hodder of Surrey and Sussex Police. “Cycling, jogging and walking are great options and we want people to be able to undertake these activities safely without fear of injury. However, it is unfortunate that there are a minority of people that think speeding is acceptable. We urge drivers and motorcyclists to ditch the excuses and remind them we will be enforcing speed limits at high priority locations targeting those who present themselves to be a danger on the roads.”
Whilst active travel is widely encouraged, Chief Inspector Michael Hodder’s message is clear: ‘Emptier roads may lead to temptation for irresponsible drivers who do not foresee the consequences of their actions. It only takes a split second for something catastrophic to happen. We must share the roads responsibly, with more pedestrians and cyclists outdoors, it is imperative we continue to work together to reduce the pressure on the NHS and emergency services, so they can focus their efforts on saving lives and caring for our communities.”
In support of the work Sussex Safer Roads Partnership and Sussex Police colleagues are undertaking to improve road safety across Sussex, The Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourn commented; “Sussex residents are still telling me that road safety is one of their top local priorities, especially after the emptier roads during lockdown have led to reckless drivers ignoring safe speed limits.
We have invested more money into the roads policing unit over the last year, and I’m pleased to see that the team are able to take proactive action to reduce the impact of the ‘fatal four’ during this crisis and beyond. Sussex Police will be on the lookout – if you are caught speeding or driving irresponsibly in any way, there will be consequences.
Remember, there are no excuses. You could be putting your own life and the lives of others in serious danger."
Mental Health Awareness Week
It's Mental Health Awareness Week and in response to the coronavirus outbreak the theme is kindness.
The MHAW website has resources, stories and ways you can get involved here.
Help us keep Sussex safe
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Anna Habdas (Police, Prevention Support and Engagement Officer, Sussex)