Sussex Police is ‘good’ at keeping people safe and reducing crime, according to the latest assessment by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) in their Efficiency report.
The force welcomes their independent scrutiny and with this in mind values being consistently judged as ‘good’ in the service it delivers.
Deputy Chief Constable Bernie O’Reilly said: “We have made the HMIC fully aware of our change and investment plans to provide an efficient and effective service against a challenging financial backdrop.
“We are changing the way we do things, built on a good understanding of the needs of the public and the skills of our staff. Our plans are flexible so that we can review and invest where needed in the future.
“We have made significant savings of £56m over the last five years whilst fully protecting neighbourhood policing. We have a further £35m we need to save over the next four years.
“The force is increasing the number of firearms officers across Sussex and the number of investigators who help protect vulnerable adults and children.
“It is by enhancing roles, working differently and collaborating with partners, that we will respond to and resolve issues more quickly, reduce wasted effort and work to provide a more effective and consistent service for victims and the local community as we become a smaller organisation.”
He added: “Our refocused Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) role has only been in place since July, with them working flexibly and providing an effective presence based on where crime occurs. They have been using their new powers and enhanced skills to help reduce crime and antisocial behaviour.
“More recently as an example in Tarner Park in Brighton they have brought residents and teenagers who use the park together to come up with solutions to help resolve some of their issues and complaints. Their proactive problem solving skills are brought into effect wherever needed.
“To continue to keep people safe and ensure resilience, where there are vacancies, we are actively recruiting. We have recently run a recruitment campaign for police constables and from 14 November PCSO recruitment will go live, with 30 being sought. By January 2017 we will have 196 PCSOs in the force, which will be the full complement under our new model.
“Sussex Police is an emergency service and we will be there 24/7, preventing crime by working more effectively, embracing technology and working closely with the community and partners.
“It’s important to stress that the number of officers who respond to emergency calls for help remains the same – we will always be there when people need us.”