Observer calls for police and crime commissioner to visit Uckfield

Independent columnist Observer worries that the lack of police in Uckfield could allow a vacuum to develop and laments that the town’s farmers’ market will still have to languish outside of the High Street.


It would be wrong to make a direct link between the lack of police on the streets of Uckfield and the recent vandalism of town centre trees and burglaries at charity shops.


Trees destroyed and now only two poles remain

There have also been other incidents in recent times, although they have not been reported, but the gossip in the Dog and Duck is that thieves are coming into the town from outside the district.

Even if PCSOs were regularly seen – or even full-blown police officers – the chance of them being in the right place to apprehend crooks red-handed is remote.

Low crime rate in Uckfield

We have to accept that crime is low in Uckfield and Wealden as a whole.

We know resources are scarce for the police. They have been affected by budget reductions.

We also know that across Sussex, 60 PCSO roles have been cut. The PCSOs have gone from Uckfield where they might be useful from time to time dishing out a few tickets to the long-term High Street parkers.

I am worried that the way Uckfield is being policed, especially since the adoption of the new Sussex-wide local police model in the summer, could allow a vacuum to develop which would be entirely unhealthy.

Concerns over new model of neighbourhood policing

The new police model, as previously reported, has caused disquiet among community leaders over the whole of Sussex.

Katy Bourne, the police and crime commissioner (PCC), talked in July about giving the scheme time to bed in.

Katy Bourne, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner

Katy Bourne, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner

Early in the autumn she gave an assurance that local neighbourhood policing was still a priority and she would continue listening to members of the public on the issue.

The time has come for people in Uckfield to make their views known to the PCC.

Are we satisfied with the new model of policing?

This, I’m sure, is just not an Uckfield issue and probably exercises the minds of people in surrounding villages and maybe across Wealden.

There is no proper forum for the public to make their views known, other than to write to Katy Bourne, which I suggest you do.

Better still, why doesn’t the PCC come to Uckfield, hire the Civic Centre for a public meeting, and take the temperature.

She is consulting on whether people are willing to pay more council tax for up to 100 police officers.

My question is: How many of these 100 police officers will we see patrolling Uckfield?

Uckfield Farmers’ Market

You could have safely bet £100 on those in authority coming up with reasons why the farmers’ market cannot be held in Uckfield High Street.

It’s a fact that where markets are away from the shopping street, the market suffers and does little or no good for the shops.

There’s also plenty of evidence from around the country that where there is a street market, the stallholders do good business and the shops buzz.

Simple really, but it seems beyond Uckfield. Sad.

See also:

Town council looks for ways of tackling pigeon problem in Uckfield

‘Incredible’ amount of food donated to Uckfield Foodbank

Invitation to Uckfield Festival AGM

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

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