An update from the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne OBE on the Gatwick drone investigation and on more police officers arriving to serve the county.
The police investigation into the December 2018 Gatwick drone incursion was under the spotlight at my monthly Performance & Accountability Meeting (PAM) today with Chief Constable, Giles York and his Deputy, Jo Shiner.
This unprecedented disruption led to the airport being closed for 30 hours, affected 1,000 flights and caused massive inconvenience to more than 140,000 passengers. Last month, the Force confirmed that there are no further lines of enquiry. So, I wanted to understand what had been learnt and what - if anything - the Force would do differently.
We discussed the challenges Sussex Police faced during this time and I was given an informative breakdown of the scope and scale of their investigations.
Mr York said: "We have continued to test and review the drone plan since the incident and we are sharing our learning both nationally and internationally. We are now in a completely different position. Investment in drone mitigating technology has put Sussex Police and partners in a much better position to lessen the impact of any future incidents."
If you missed this meeting, you can catch up here.
Today I attended a formal end of course ceremony in Brighton to watch another 71 police officers welcomed into Sussex Police. This is a huge milestone in their lives and I met many proud family members and friends who were there to support them.
Local policing matters and this is why the Force is currently recruiting. By 2023, Sussex Police will have 379 more police officers, 100 extra police community support officers and 50 extra specialist staff - this is in addition to the numbers we currently have and takes account of the number of officers transferring or retiring.
The 71 new officers will now be deployed into Sussex communities, providing the visible policing presence that the public have been calling for.
Katy Bourne OBE
Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner