Five-year plan for Sussex Police

Police are advising vehicle owners, after a spate of thefts
Police are advising vehicle owners, after a spate of thefts

Sussex Police is being redesigned for the future.

The force has revealed its initial thinking for policing in Sussex for the coming five years.

Deputy Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney, who is leading the change, said, “The model for the future will help Sussex Police adapt to meet the changing issues of modern policing.

“It gives us the opportunity to explore new ways of working so that it can deliver policing more efficiently, reduce cost, engage with the public in the best way and continue to support and promote partnership working wherever possible.

“In 2020, Sussex Police will protect its communities, prioritising those who are most vulnerable to harm, and being relentless in the pursuit of criminals. We will operate efficiently to a reduced budget; being a modern, trusted workforce with integrity at our core. The absence of crime and disorder, together with strong community relations, will be our measure of success.”

Sussex Police will deliver the objectives of the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan and the core policing mission to prevent and detect crime, keep the peace and respond to emergencies. It will also deliver all statutory and College of Policing mandated activities.

DCC Pinkney said, “We will make decisions on which services to prioritise, and to whom they will be delivered, based on the level of threat, risk and harm. We will continue to prioritise crimes that cause the greatest harm to victims and the community.

“Often the police are used as the service of last resort - the simple fact is that we should not respond to issues which would be more effectively dealt with by other providers or by working in partnership. An example of where this works is our successful street triage scheme which pairs nurses with police in dealing with emergency responses to those with mental health issues and diverting them from police custody. It is this kind of thinking we need to apply in different areas of our business.

“Our plans also include transforming the way we interact with our communities. We recognise that the way people want to make contact with organisations has changed considerably and in Sussex many people now choose to visit our website for information, report crime online and be updated via text, email or social media.

“Sussex Police as an emergency service will look and feel very different in the future as we embrace the necessary changes to support our communities.”

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “I welcome the bold approach being taken by the Chief Constable and his team to review, redesign and refine how policing services are delivered in Sussex and where they are targeted. That’s not simply because I recognise the financial constraints that Sussex - like all forces - has to operate within, it’s because any organisation that seeks to provide excellent customer service needs to adapt to succeed.

“All police forces have to move into the 21st century, which involves embracing technology and multi-agency working, and a wider police family. Part of my role is also to reassure the public that the way their police services will be delivered in Sussex will reflect best practice nationally and responsibility.

“Taking a piecemeal approach to cost savings just means trying to do the same thing in the same way with less leading to poor morale and increasingly poorer services, so I am delighted to see the transformational ambition being expressed by Sussex Police in meeting savings of £55m over the next five years.

“I applaud the Chief Constable for having the courage and ambition to look at what works well and what doesn’t and articulating what isn’t the responsibility of the police at all.

“That means better use of intelligence and more accurate prediction of demand, and quickly diagnosing where other partners are better placed to intervene.

“In some cases that could mean encouraging Sussex residents to make better use of existing low cost information channels for reporting crimes and concerns.

“It will definitely mean prioritising resources where they will have the most impact and continuing to share estates and information with other organisations to reduce costs.

“Just as the Deputy Chief Constable has undertaken to keep colleagues in Sussex police informed as the redesign consultation and workshops unfolds, I intend to keep the public informed and will continue to raise concerns and ideas back to Sussex Police.”

The design phase aims to be completed in the new year and will be implemented over the next four years.