New hubs ‘to get police on streets quicker’

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EAST Sussex police officers started a new way of working last week.

The new system went live on Tuesday (September 27) and police chiefs described it as an ‘exciting and challenging period of transformation for East Sussex Police’.

They say they are ‘looking forward to doing things differently across the division in order to better serve the communities of East Sussex into the future’.

The new model sees both CID and Response teams working out of five key hubs across East Sussex which will allow the force to make better use of resources and officers and will help maintain levels of service the public would expect in a changing financial future.

Response officers will be based in five hubs, in Hastings, Battle, Eastbourne, Lewes and Uckfield, and there are now three CID hubs – East, West and North – consisting of five detective inspectors, 15 detective sergeants and 57 detective constables.

The West CID hub, based at Hammonds Drive, Eastbourne, will have responsibility for Eastbourne, south Lewes and south Wealden.

Chief Superintendent Robin Smith said, “The change will only affect where response officers start and finish their shift.

“After booking on at their base station and receiving a short formal briefing from their supervisor, they will be tasked to go out in the community for the rest of their shift.

“This new model will allow them to continue to attend emergency and priority calls but have less paperwork and so they will be back out into the community more quickly.”

The hub model is being used by other forces around the country and also by other Sussex Police divisions and is said to be achieving good results.

Chief Inspector Jayne Dando, district commander at Eastbourne, said she had every confidence East Sussex would see the same benefits this way of working delivers.

The shake up of policing will also see new Responsive Investigation Teams working from three hubs and focusing on the investigative side of policing.

This, the police chief said, would allow response teams to get out and about sooner after dealing with a crime.

“Because the response teams will not be spending time in the office dealing with prisoners or conducting interviews, they will be out in their areas providing a visible presence for all our communities across East Sussex,” said Chief Inspector Dando.

The Neighbourhood Police Teams will not change how they work and the chief inspector said they would remain a valuable link with their communities and members of the public will be able to work with them in exactly the same way as before.

She added, “Of course any period of change brings with it bedding in issues and we want to work with everyone to address any areas of concern that may arise.”