Sussex Police are waiting to hear from central government about the scale of future cuts to budgets for policing and their impact on Brighton & Hove residents.
Local Action Teams, part of the Safe in the City Partnership, enable residents to raise concerns about crime and anti-social behaviour with the Police across Brighton and Hove.
Francis Clark-Lowes, chair of the North Laine Community Association and Peter Crowhurst, the outgoing chair, are very concerned that the Police will not routinely be represented at future Local Action Team (LAT) meetings. “They can’t set police priorities if the Police don’t attend”, said Mr Crowhurst.
He said: “The teams were set up to allow residents to raise concerns and allay their fears. An emergency service is not good enough.”
The role of PCSOs will be reviewed and policing is likely to become more of a rapid response service.
Mr Clark-Lowes described cuts to policing as a “disaster” and said: “We need bobbies on the beat.”
There were 30 late night bars and restaurants in the North Laine conservation area in 2003, now there are 70 due to late licensing, in spite of the area being designated a cumulative impact zone. This means there is a concentration of licensed premises.
Police also gave the LATs crime figures for the area. It is a LAT priority to reduce late night noise in the North Laine area of central Brighton.
Deputy Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney said: “We are aware of the debate around budget cuts. This area is still evolving under our local policing plan.
“Public safety is still our absolute priority. Sussex Police is a 24/7 emergency service which will always focus on the needs of those who are most vulnerable. As such we have protected our response teams so that you can be assured that in times of need we will be there.
“Key to our success in building our capability to detect and prevent crime is by working even closer with the community and partners. The community can be assured that we will very much retain a presence in their areas.
“Our prevention, response and investigation teams will all be active within neighbourhoods across Sussex and there will be a named officer for every ward, local problem solving teams and partnership working.
“We have adapted to how people prefer to contact us and will be expanding opportunities for them to report crime and find out information online.
“Key to the success of our model is reducing the demand on officers on a day-to-day basis so that we can continue to deliver core policing.
“It is also essential that we build understanding with the public and our partners, so that they know what they can expect from us and the part they need to play in ensuring its success.”
The policing plan is still evolving, areas for consideration include:
- A review of the role of PCSOs, who will be equipped with a wider range of skills and become more flexible so that they can focus on those most in need.
- Prevention teams who will provide problem solving and enforcement locally, with partners and encouraging communities towards self-help.
- There will be a named individual for every location and a dedicated presence in more vulnerable areas. Enforcement will be enhanced by local support teams.
- Constable numbers in police response teams remain unchanged and they won’t be constrained by organisational boundaries. The most appropriate officers will respond to those most in need. Proactive, intelligence-led patrols, enabled by new technology, will give more purpose.
- More seamless liaison between custody and response officers, will speed up the process and free constables to return to the streets after they have taken someone into custody.
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