Sussex Police defends against claims it keeps public in the dark

Eastbourne
Eastbourne
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Sussex Police has hit back at claims it keeps the public in the dark about crimes in their area.

The force has said it is “completely transparent” about the level of recorded crime after allegations of a lack of disclosure.

Chief Superintendent Nev Kemp said: “Sussex Police recorded 7,802 crimes in March this year.

“Our priority is to focus on protecting the vulnerable and catching criminals. We will always be there when people need us most.

“We reach out to the public when we need more information to support an investigation and the media is one avenue of doing this. In addition to using media, we appeal directly to the public via social media, for which we have thousands of followers who share our information.

“Another activity is super cocooning, for example if there is a burglary we will contact local residents to make them aware, offer advice and seek information. We also liaise with Neighbourhood Watch and through community messaging.

“The public can be confident we will appeal to them if we feel they could have vital information or a small piece of the puzzle, or if they are in danger. Officers will request appeals where there is an operational need after evaluating the evidence.

“A lot of crimes we investigate, the large majority of them, we don’t need anything from the wider public. If you can’t help, are not in danger or need to be warned, you may not hear about it via the media.

“However, the public can be assured that where they could become a victim of crime we will do all we can to inform them. We run large campaigns throughout the year to raise awareness so that people can protect themselves and others, for example, around fraud and cyber crime. More recently, we covered burglary prevention and later this year we will focus on child sexual exploitation.

“Any officer may talk to the media on matters about which they are competent to speak. In addition, our experienced media team works with officers, carefully considering appeals to support investigations. They are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to issue appeals when needed.

“Their purpose is to support operational policing, using their time efficiently and effectively to appeal for information, keep the public advised during major and critical incidents and raise awareness of issues and campaigns. In two weeks 2-15 March they dealt with 528 enquiries from the media, and in the last year nearly 10,000 enquiries, always giving information unless there was an operationally sensitive reason not to.”

The force issues figures to the Home Office and members of the public can go to www.police.uk and input their postcode to learn about all crime in the area.

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