Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Katy Bourne, wants to know whether people are prepared to pay more for the cost of policing in Sussex.
She has been studying the Chief Constable’s operational plan to determine whether the amount paid per household should be increased or stay the same.
Two key priorities in particular need greater investment, she says – firstly, protecting children and vulnerable adults in Sussex from exploitation and abuse and, secondly, increasing digital forensic capability to retrieve, analyse and store information held on computers, mobiles and tablets.
Whilst policing costs are for the most part funded by the Government (funds increasingly cut back in recent years), a small proportion called the precept is paid from local council tax and set by the locally elected PCC.
Currently, the Sussex precept for policing is the fourth lowest in the country. The questionnaire is simple to complete, asking whether or not those responding would be prepared to pay an additional £5 or £10 or any other amount a year, and to state their age and district where they live. . The consultation will remain open until January 8 2016.
Elected on November 15, 2012, as the inaugural PCC for Sussex, Bourne will be standing again as the Conservative party candidate in the election for new PCC next May.
Amongst her stated priorities have been identifying waste and inefficiencies so that savings can be reinvested into front line policing, especially “through visible, effective neighbourhood policing to the standards that residents of Sussex respect and deserve”.
Residents will have the opportunity in six months’ time to assess not only how well has she performed the job, but also to comment on the value of the appointment itself to the keeping of law and order in Sussex.
Photo: Sussex PCC