One of the key manifesto promises I was elected on at the 2019 General Election was to get more police onto our streets. The plan for 20,000 new officers will have an effect on police forces throughout England and Wales, and here in Sussex it is no different.
It has recently been confirmed that some 146 police officers have been recruited by Sussex Police since September 2019, bringing the total number of the force’s officers up to more than 2,900. Over the last decade, officer numbers have remained stable, so these new recruits represent a very real increase in local police numbers.
The Government is nearly half-way to its drive to get 20,000 more police officers on the street by 2023, with an extra 9,814 now recruited across all 43 police forces so far.
This recruitment drive is also helping to ensure that our police are more representative of the communities they serve too.
Confirmation of these figures follows the launch of Government’s Beating Crime Plan which focuses on reducing crime, protecting victims and making us all safer.
This plan includes ensuring that every neighbourhood has named and contactable officers who know their area, and are in the best position to ensure that persistent crime and anti-social behaviour is tackled.
This builds on action that has been taken in recent years which includes boosting police funding to a record £15.8 billion, delivering £45 million through the Safer Streets Fund to make neighbourhoods secure, and passing the Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts Bill through the House of Commons.
This legislation will strengthen the powers of our police and provide them with the resources and protections they need to cut crime and target persistent offenders, with the Bill giving the police additional powers to get knives off our streets, introducing Whole Life Orders for the premeditated murder of a child, and ending automatic halfway release for serious violent or sexual offenders.
At the start of this year a further £40 million was announced to tackle county lines and drugs supply issues, raising the total invested to £65 million since November 2019.
This funding is used to dismantle county lines gangs, helping to keep our towns and children safe. This work has already seen more than 3,400 people arrested, over 550 lines closed, more than £9 million street value of drugs and £1.5 million of cash seized, in addition to over 770 vulnerable people safeguarded.
Henry Smith MP