Independent columnist Observer backs the Sussex Crime Panel as they challenge the police and crime commissioner over changes to local policing.
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne was well and truly placed on the spot about changes to neighbourhood policing introduced this summer.
This new “policing model” has seen PCSOs disappear from Uckfield and the effects of that can be seen in the High Street on an almost daily basis with pavement parking and no control over time limits for the reduced parking spaces.
It’s the same around the rest of the town with double yellow lines flouted with impunity and motorists happy to dump cars and vans on the pavements, not caring about the damage caused or the potential hazards to pedestrians.
Change in the type of crimes
When did you last see a police officer on foot in the High Street; other than on carnival night?
One of Commissioner Bourne’s priorities is to “strengthen local policing” and members of the Sussex Police and Crime Panel questioned how these changes would help her meet that target.
We are told the new model has been designed to keep pace with a change in the types of crimes now being committed in Sussex.
She said the new system needs time to bed in and is only a few weeks old.
Danger to link between public and police
Local policing is the bedrock on British policing and Sussex Police and the crime panel is correct to be concerned about the dangers of the link between the public and residents being broken.
Ms Bourne was also challenged about the target time for answering 101 calls being totally missed and the information and data provided on her website.
Holding to account
The crime panel’s job is to support the work of the commissioner and hold her to account.
A bit more “holding her to account” would not go amiss.
Trains and the Uckfield Line: Bad last week. Not much better this and shambolic at times. No-one in authority cares.