More police on the way

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Chief Constable Giles York with a recent recruit

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne writes in her latest newsletter about recruiting more police officers in the region:
“Having recently launched its four-year Transformation Strategy after a long period of re-adjustment of local policing, police officers and staff and local people have every reason to be weary of changes, but there is a very positive change just over the horizon.
“With the police budget now in much healthier condition thanks to local people contributing more, and money from reserves, over 160 new PCs are being recruited and will  start training in the next six months. Sussex Police has already recruited a pool of 104 successful  police constable applicants of whom 72 will start their training in September, and a further 32 will start in December.
“On top of that, the force is looking to recruit a further 72 officers in a new campaign that launches at the end of this month. So if you think you are up for the challenge of policing Sussex get ready to get your applications in or encourage your friends and relatives. It really could be the start of the most rewarding career.”

Photo: Sussex Police

4 COMMENTS

  1. Does Ms Bourne make it clear whether or not these police officers are in addition to those who have to be replaced because of retirement, transfer or resignation?

  2. This looks to be more spin from Katy Bourne.
    Last year her 2017/18 precept leaflet said there would be over 100 more officers in a number of areas whilst the truth was that most were being re-allocated from other areas. I raised a complaint about this misleading leaflet as the financial figures at the back showed an increase in the number of officers was financially impossible. After much chasing of my complaint I got the response ‘without the extra precept the number of police officers would have fallen further so it represents an increase over an even smaller number and we could have worded the leaflet better’ .
    The Police & Crime Panel eventually just ignored my complaint, preferring not to challenge the false headline that there was an increase in the number of Police officers when there was actually a decrease.
    This year the 2018/19 precept leaflet omits any financial figures but they can be found on the internet. The increase in the amount raised from central govenment and the council tax precept is £8.88M. With police officer & support staff costs taking £249M of the £296M budget, most of this extra money will be taken up paying the 2% pay rise given last year. This leaves very little money to pay for the claimed 160 plus 72 extra offiicers from the article so Richard Perchard is correct in suggesting these are not extra posts but replacements and so spin as usual.
    In fact, looking at Katy Bournes own 2017/18 precept leaflet you find the statement ‘… our Medium Term Financial Strategy
    calculated we faced a further £26.5m savings requirement
    which meant 476 officer and staff posts would be lost.’ The leaflet goes on to state ‘To help ease the reductions, I had already released £17m of
    reserves last year and combined with the £12 increase in the
    precept on the average band D dwelling, we can now
    protect those 476 posts and look again at the resources
    available for policing.’
    So clearly, in Katy Bourne’s own words, there is not a big increase in the number of Police officers but it looks as if, again, there could be a reduction in the overall number of Police officers or at best the same number.

  3. We now learn that the 2% pay rise awarded to Police Officers will not be paid from central funds but found by police forces themselves, and I believe that the recent Council Tax rise is to be used for this purpose. Does this jeopardise the supposed increase in numbers?
    In any case, Ms Bourne’s intended 160 extra officers is actually a quarter of that figure, only 40 officers at any one time due to the four shift system. Take away leave, sickness, training and so on that will leave about thirty spread over the whole of Sussex. Nothing to shout about is it?

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