Crime will rise if cuts continue

Rye and Battle Observer letters
Rye and Battle Observer letters

From: Cllr Phil Scott, East Sussex County Councillor, Hollington & Wishing Tree Division

Interesting article in the Hastings Observer (Nov 10) which suggests a new policing model toward a police service that will be ‘working smarter’ in the future to prevent, detect and tackle crime.

One would have hoped that has always happened, however the reality today is that we do live in a different world that makes us feel less safe because of the threat of terrorism and other crimes which are shockingly high certainly here in Hastings.

New measures of course need to be introduced to counter that threat including the use of community-led intelligence.

That’s where our Neighbourhood Policing Model used to come into its own, Police Community Support Officers historically had been the eyes and ears of the community and police service.

Now though, to be renamed as part of a wider group called Prevention Teams. Of course I understand that the days of ‘Dixon of Dock Green’ have long gone but it was a model that both worked and was supported by its communities.

With Sussex Police facing cuts of £26 million pounds in the coming years a fact that was not identified in the article, I would really worry about what that actually means, less officers may mean less prevention and less detection, further increase in crime levels?

There you have some immediate consequences to think about.

In the meantime though I would welcome any move that would reduce those terrifying crime figures and any support the Hastings & Rye MP Amber Rudd could offer, as she is on record as saying that she “will do whatever is needed to help ensure the residents of Hastings & Rye feel safe in their communities” .

But here’s the warning to the Home Secretary – if you starve Sussex Police service of much-needed Government funding and try to carry out ‘policing on the cheap’, those crime levels will continue to rise and communities will continue to feel less safe in their homes and when they are out and about trying to enjoy their lives.

Those same communities will lose faith in the police service and you will be reminded of their concerns at the ballot box.