Cops and robbers for scarecrow festival?

A HEAVY police presence is expected in Battle this summer - that’s if the organisers of the town’s scarecrow festival get their way.

It has been confirmed the Battle Scarecrow Festival will return for a fifth year in 2013.

And although a final theme has yet to be settled on, organisers are already considering a “comical” theme based on law and order.

A scarecrow committee is currently being formed to plan for the festival, which traditionally takes place over three weeks in July.

Members of Battle’s Neighbourhood Policing Team have already been asked for their views on the law and order theme.

And Cllr Richard Jessop, speaking at Tuesday night’s Battle Town Council meeting, suggested that recently-elected Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne could be asked to judge the competition.

Last year the festival had the theme Battle Going for Gold, to tie in with the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Profits made from the festival were donated to Demelza Hospice Care for Children.

Cllr Jessop said: “If any money is generated, it’s hoped to put it towards the local police charities.”

But not all councillors agreed with the idea of handing money over to the police.

Cllr Ron Harris said: “Is it the best idea to give to the police charity?

“Do we not have enough local charities?”

He added: “I’m just not desperately keen on handing it over to the police.”

Other councillors pointed out that Sussex Police has previously donated money to a number of local good causes.

Cllr Jessop pointed out: “This is not strictly a town council activity.”

The new committee will meet shortly to firm up plans for the festival.

It is not yet known if Battle Police will be putting forward their own entry for the festival.

Two years ago Battle Police became a victim of crime themselves when their scarecrow was stolen from right outside the police station in North Trade Road.

The town’s Police Community Support Officers had spent hours of their spare time putting together their theatrical policeman, but thieves made off with the scarecrow, which had been a favourite with the townsfolk and the visiting South East In Bloom judges.

The scarecrow was later found dumped in an alleyway near Coronation Gardens.