Sussex Police calls treble during white-out

Sussex Police had to deal with nearly 2,500 calls in 24 hours as the county became deluged in snow.

Normally on a weekday during March, police deal with 700 emergency and non-emergency calls - but in the 24 hours up until 9am today, that number of calls tripled because of the white-out on Sussex’s roads.

They received 228 traffic collision reports, two incidents involving serious injury and 16 resulting in slight injuries. There were 771 road-related calls.

Police Community Support Officers have also been out in force across the county.

In Eastbourne, PCSO Anita Rockingham has been making contact with several elderly people on her beat to check that they are ok and to make a trip to the local shop if they’re short of essentials.

In Woodingdean near Brighton, former soldier and PCSO Christopher Kingswood called upon his Bear Grylls-style survival training when he became stranded after hours of helping drivers stuck on the A259 and A27.

He bedded down in a very cramped police box, head and feet touching both ends! He managed a few hours’ sleep before being back out on duty at 7am.

With East Sussex bathed in sunshine this lunchtime, snow-related problems were beginning to ease on the county’s roads.

However Sussex Police are advising people to still consider if their journey is absolutely essential and if so, to make sure that they are prepared for their trip.

Chief Supt Paul Morrison, head of Operations, said: “Even though it seems as though the worst of the weather may have passed, it is very important that you listen to local radio for updates and take notice of the warnings.

“If you travel, make sure that you’re equipped for extremes - a blanket, a flask of hot drink, water, food, a fully charged mobile phone and a shovel, for example.

“If you’re staying at home, please keep an eye out for elderly and vulnerable - check on your neighbours and make sure they’re warm and safe. There is an enormous demand on the emergency services at the moment, but if someone needs medical attention or is in danger, don’t hesitate to call 999 immediately.

“I would particularly like to thank the scores of volunteers, including those from the Red Cross and many individual 4x4 owners, who have turned out to assist the emergency services over the last 24 hours.

“All agencies have been working tirelessly to assist people who have been affected by the weather, especially those who have been particularly vulnerable because of age or medical reasons.