Rye welcomes new commander’s pledge

RYE will not be forgotten, pledges Rother’s new police commander Chief Inspector Katy Woolford.

Katy has not been letting the grass grow under her feet since taking over the hot seat from Trevor Botting at the turn of the year.

She has been busy getting out and about to meet key groups and individuals on her new patch, and residents can expect more of the same from the energetic mother-of-two with a self-confessed fondness for sociability.

Having had past experience of neighbourhood policing in Moulsecoomb, Brighton and most recently the county town of Lewes, Chief Insp Woolford said: “It’s the sort of policing I enjoy most - getting involved in the community.”

She has plenty of other experience to bring to her role after 13 years with Sussex Police, having served elsewhere as a detective, a custody sergeant and helping police the Labour Party conference in Brighton, and is clearly confident in her recent promotion to become Rother’s “top cop”.

By its very size, Bexhill is the busiest town on her “manor”, but she is also keen to reassure Rye and Rother’s rural villages that any policing concerns they have are very much hers and her team’s, too.

She said: “The police’s biggest asset is the community it serves, because with the best will in the world we can’t be everywhere at once and the eyes and ears of the public are vital in helping us to best direct our resources to where they’re needed most.

“I hope people will feel able to approach the local police with any concerns or suspicions and feel certain that they are going to get a good response.”

Various operations have helped to target specific problems, such as drug abuse, anti-social behaviour and poor driving, and Ch Insp Woolford is poised to concentrate resources on similar initiatives as and when issues present themselves.

She said: “By and large Rother is a very safe place to be, and we intend to keep it that way. We’re aware of instances where criminals are travelling into the area from neighbouring counties, or more locally Hastings, and we are getting much better at sharing this information to target known offenders.”

She added: “So far as Rother’s residents are concerned, I want to hear both the negative and the positive - what we might be doing wrong and what we are doing right. It’s only by working together like this that we can stay on our toes and effect improvements.”