Police chiefs help public with their inquiries at Hove meeting

Posted On 06 Oct 2014 at 10:10 pm

Three senior figures in the police world answered questions from the public at a meeting at Hove Town Hall this evening (Monday 6 October).

Sussex police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne said: “This is the first of our police and crime community conversations.

“In my role I’m committed to translating your concerns into police action.”

She was joined by the new chief constable Giles York and Brighton and Hove police commander Chief Superintendent Nev Kemp.

Council repairs

They were asked about cyclists, CCTV, travellers, body-worn cameras and the policing of demonstrations such as the March for England parades and the anti-fracking protests last summer.

Katy Bourne

Katy Bourne

Former Hove school teacher Brian Tomlins asked about his arrest for harassment in January last year and suggested that Sussex Police had colluded with Brighton and Hove City Council.

He asked: “Is that a good example of how joined up government should be working?”

Mr York promised to look into his complaint and said that he would respond tomorrow (Tuesday 7 October).

Another resident claimed that five people had died from a drug overdose at a property in Washington Street, Brighton, in August.

He asked whether the media or the police were covering up the deaths.

Chief Superintendent Kemp said: “There hasn’t been an incident where five people have died.

“Every time there is a death that is unexpected in this city it becomes an issue for the coroner.”

He said that the Brighton and Hove coroner was independent, straight talking and took her job seriously.

Hove councillor and parliamentary candidate Christopher Hawtree asked the three panellists to name their favourite crime writer.

Councillor Hawtree, a Green, asked: “Does it matter if it doesn’t bear much relation to reality?”

He said that fiction shaped many people’s view of the policing.

Mrs Bourne said: “I like watching the Sopranos even if we don’t want to see that in Brighton and Hove.”

Chief Superintendent Kemp said: “I read a couple of writers in the Daily Mail! I don’t really read crime fiction. It’s too much like work for me.”

Mr York said that while he agreed with Chief Superintendent Kemp he had a great deal of time and respect for Peter James.

He said that Mr James was “not only a local writer but hugely supportive and philanthropic”.

And he added: “If I ever have the misfortune to appear in one of his books, can I please not be the first chief constable not to solve the murder.”

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