Residents set the agenda at meeting with police boss

Polcie crime event SUS-141012-095918001
Polcie crime event SUS-141012-095918001

Residents from across East Sussex took up the gauntlet to question police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne at an event in Eastbourne this week.

The Police and Crime Community Conversation event was held at the Winter Garden on Tuesday evening and gave members of the public to question senior police chiefs over areas of concern such as street drinking, road safety, cycling and anti social behaviour well as help shape the future of policing priorities in Sussex.

On the panel were PCC Katy Bourne, Chief Constable Giles York, Divisional Commander Neil Honnor and guest panellist Christina Ewbank, from Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce. The debate was chaired by Herald editor-in-chief Keith Ridley.

Several questions were sent in via Facebook and Twitter ahead of the event.

The biggest concern among the public appeared to be street drinking and drug users causing problems in town centres and Chief Constable York spoke about the partnership between Eastbourne Police and other agencies running pop-up hubs to help get members of the street community off the streets and in to employment and housing. He also said there was a scheme locally between police and local nurses to get mental health patients the right help.

Residents also expressed concerns over recent incidents in Eastbourne when illegal immigrants were discovered first in the back of a refrigerated lorry in Hampden Park and weeks later fleeing from a boat which had just arrived in Sovereign Harbour.

Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said she remained committed to her manifesto and wanted to hear how the public hoped policing would develop in the future particularly in light of cuts to the service.

She also said that no further police stations in Sussex would close until “something similar or better is put in its place”.

“I am answerable to the public and they are an important part of the process of shaping services in the future as well as helping me set the precept for the police part of the council tax,” said Mrs Bourne.