Katy’s challenging police role

Katy Bourne
Katy Bourne
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Katy Bourne was elected as the first Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex last Friday.

She beat her nearest rival councillor Godfrey Daniel into second place, but not without a fight.

Despite one of the lowest ever turnouts for a UK election, Cllr Daniel forced a second preference count winning Hastings, Brighton and Crawley along the way.

With a million residents to answer to and a £250m budget, a mother-of-two from Haywards Heath is taking on one of the most revolutionary police jobs ever created in the UK.

But it is all being taken in her stride, as the self-made businesswoman eases into her new role.

For several weeks now she has been busy putting together her budget plan for the next financial year.

And before being sworn yesterday (Thursday)to “serve the people of Sussex without fear or favour,” Mrs Bourne has been getting to grips with her new surroundings and her new staff based at Sackville House in Lewes.

Then on Monday she will be heading up the first meeting of the Sussex Police and Crime Panel.

The panel’s job will be to support Mrs Bourne as she takes over the work of the former Sussex Police Authority.

One of the panel’s first tasks will be to review the new Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan.

Although it cannot veto her budget, it can exercise control over the amount the Commissioner wants to raise from council tax.

“The budget needs to be set and produced by March 31,” said Mrs Bourne.

“I have started that already. I would like a zero percent police precept on the Council Tax.”

Mrs Bourne will be busy travelling to the four corners of the county of the coming weeks to meet local councillors and members of community safety partnerships.

Mrs Bourne said, “Alcohol-related anti social behaviour is a big problem which needs to be addressed.

“Rural crime is also an issue across the county and I would like to see a special constable placed in every village across the county.

“I can’t tell the chief constable how to do his job.

“But if I receive complaints from residents about certain issues then I will certainly be asking him how they are being dealt with.

“I want to bring all those involved together to deal with these problems.

“I want to work with the chief constable, the councils, Community Safety Partnerships, schools, the Probation Service and Neighbourhood Watch groups.

“I’m there to be the voice of the local people.

“I’ve lived in Sussex all my life and I care about the community.

“I want my two sons to stay in Sussex, raise their families here and be safe. I believe everyone deserves the right to be safe.”