Chief Constable Giles York says an increase in the police rates precept has put the force in a much stronger financial position and he is determined the public will feel the difference.
The chief constable said said: “Over the last few years, we have dealt with significant challenges created by the financial constraints in which the force has found itself.
“This has meant difficult decisions have had to be made resulting in fewer people than we had before. Some areas of policing are stretched due to increasing demand and a change in the complexity of what we deal with.
“This change in our financial position has created an exciting opportunity to strengthen areas where it is needed most.”
He said the extra money would enable:
- An additional 200 police officers to be recruited to work across Sussex over the next four years.
- Nearly 500 jobs, which were to go because of a savings plan, to be protected
- A constant review of PCSE recruitment
- Additional officers to join local prevention teams so increasing visibility and accessibility, encouraging people to talk and share their knowledge of their neighbourhood and solve local community issues such as anti-social behaviour.
- Increased resources within community investigations teams to meet demand better as they deal with crimes such as burglary and organised crime.
Other plans are to improve ways for the public to contact the police about non-emergency matters and continued modernisation of services so officers and staff have the right skills and tools to respond to the increasingly complex policing challenges they face, such as automatic number plate recognition technology in all frontline vehicles to support aims to reduce injuries on the road and fight crime.
The chief constable said more officers would be seen working where they were most needed, prioritising the areas where communities faced the greatest challenges and where the force was most stretched.
Chief Constable York said: “Local policing is at the heart of everything we do and continues to be the foundation of the service we provide to keep people safe and feeling safe.
“We are undertaking an enormous recruitment drive over the next few years, on a scale we haven’t seen for a long time.
“Recruiting more police officers and putting them where they are most needed puts us in the best position to achieve our aim as well as further modernising our service.
“I am grateful for the commitment of all officers and staff in keeping people safe and making a real difference in the community.”
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