Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne OBE, has given a huge welcome to our new named Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) who began being assigned to their designated areas this week. Every community across Sussex will now have one or more dedicated PCSO to enhance public confidence and collate vital community intelligence.

Neighbourhood policing was modernised five years ago, giving PCSOs the necessary skills to help support police officers and investigations. 

Katy said: "I look forward to visiting them and seeing the positive impact they make to residents and local businesses. Input your postcode here to find out who the named PCSO is for your area.

"Today I was delighted to be on the ‘Answer Back’ panel for the Eastbourne Youth Radio (EYR) discussing topical policing issues like county lines and cuckooing. 

"The EYR, hosted by East Sussex College, brings together students of all ages to research, produce and present their own material that will interest their local family audience.

"I think their ‘Answer Back’ panel is a great way for young people to share their views and enter into healthy debate with public figures on issues that affect them and their peers.

"With so much in the media at the moment around serious violence related to drug crimes, especially amongst young people, they rightly wanted to understand the reality of the situation where they live.

"County Lines is a network of drug dealers who branch out to the coast to set up criminal 'franchises' and take over the homes of vulnerable people, a process called cuckooing. 

"I explained that local crime is often a result of major drug distribution via county lines and gangs are using young people and vulnerable adults to carry out their criminal biddings.

"They were pleased to hear about the early intervention work we are doing to combat this with our REBOOT programme. It has successfully steered over 400 vulnerable young people away from potential criminal activity, educating them on the differences between healthy and exploitative relationships."