TACKLING SERIOUS VIOLENCE IN SUSSEX

Last week the Government made a welcome announcement, confirming future funding for Violence Reduction Units (VRUs), as Sussex's Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne OBE explains:

This follows our success in August last year, when we were one of 18 areas to be awarded funding to establish a VRU. Since then, Sussex Police have partnered with local authorities, health and education to identify the complex root causes of violent crime and set up iniatives to address them.

I have now been told by Government that I have the opportunity to secure an additional £880,000 to fund the future of our VRU until April 2021. We will soon begin work to submit a plan for the year ahead and make a formal funding announcement once this plan is agreed with the Home Office.

The recent successful launch of the Tactical Enforcement Unit (TEU) shows that Sussex Police are working to make our county even safer for residents and more hostile than ever before for criminals.

The team carried out its first operation on 16 December and since then they have made drug seizures and targeted local dealers, found some of the county’s most wanted who have failed to appear in court and carried out a number of drink/drug driving stops on our roads.

Inspector Dan Hiles, who leads the TEU, said: "We will continue our work to disrupt criminal activity, enforce the law and protect communities in Sussex."

I look forward to seeing this team in action for myself soon.

I have  been  listening to residents across the county over the last year to hear how the recruitment of hundreds more police officers and PCSOs is boosting public confidence and making communities feel safer.

Rises in the police precept over recent years have helped protect roles in Sussex Police, invest in key areas and start the biggest recruitment campaign for over ten years.

With delays in the usual timing of the annual police budget announcement due to the General Election, I want to ensure that the investment plans and recruitment programme we have underway can be safely maintained.

Working closely with the Chief Constable’s senior team, we have been assessing what Sussex Police needs. I will soon be communicating the outcome of these discussions ahead of any local precept announcements.