An update from our Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne OBE on her visit to Newhaven to meet the new multi-agency team there who are working together to tackle crime, including anti-social behaviour (ASB) and drug supply.
The team is made up of Police Officers; PCSOs; Neighbourhood First; Lewes District Council; East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service; Sussex Community Development Association; Target Youth Support and the domestic abuse Rita Project.
Commenting on how they all work together, Inspector Ed Ripley said: “Officers will identify hotspots around Newhaven and problem-solve those locations, with partners, where the presence and behaviour of some young people impact on the community.
“Influences such as housing and domestic situations will also be addressed. Monday briefings will review the team’s activities and set targets for the next seven days. If successful, we hope to create similar teams elsewhere in Lewes district and further afield.”
Speaking to residents in Newhaven, they were not surprised that young people ‘act out’, stating that they're 'bored’ and influenced by older members of their peer groups to 'run amok.’ This is why, as part of REBOOT, I have given funds to community safety partnerships to invest in youth projects and clubs keeping young people off the streets and out of trouble.
The team has also made referrals into REBOOT, identifying young people who need early intervention to prevent them getting involved in criminality.
Sophie (not her real name),14, was identified by police as having nine risk factors, including smoking cannabis, exclusions from school and ‘hanging out’ with an older group causing ASB. She was assigned a REBOOT coach, and since then has not been associated with criminal behaviour. She has started kickboxing classes and plans to join a local youth club soon.
The reality is that young people can be vulnerable to exploitation and REBOOT is working to minimise the risk of their involvement in ASB, knife crime or drug-related crime.
Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) is a community-run independent charity covering around 100,000 households in Sussex. My office works closely with them to strengthen links between Sussex Police and local residents. Members are also included in my focus groups.
To highlight this strand of partnership working, we’re running a poll to ask which area of NHW activity you think is most important. Click here to take part.
Katy Bourne OBE
Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner