A combination of action from national Government and the work of Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne are seeing more police on our streets, and greater resources and protections for those who keep us safe.
The Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner is responsible for setting the £310 million budget for policing in our county.
An issue of great importance is seeing more police officers on the street. Sussex is recruiting 379 police officers which includes 129 from the first phase of the Government’s uplift.
Throughout England and Wales, Government remains on track to deliver on its manifesto commitment to recruit 20,000 extra officers by 2023. The first target of 6,000 new officers by March of this year was exceeded some time ago.
Last month a new multi-agency unit, jointly led and monitored by the Commissioner and Sussex Police started its work tackling some of the county’s most prolific and harmful domestic abusers.
More than £400,000 of Government funding has been secured for the High Harm Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Unit which will seek, identify and target the most active and dangerous serial perpetrators of domestic abuse. It will not only uncover and address the reasons for their offending, but will aim to change their behaviour and reduce re-offending.
In March I welcomed Sussex Police receiving more than £510,000 from the Government to tackle serious violent crime, including knife crime and murder.
This support will help our police tackle violent crime and address its underlying causes in the community, in addition to funding early intervention programmes that do positive preventative work with children and young people.
Alongside Katy Bourne I have continued to call for a Police Covenant, similar to the Military Covenant.
In the House of Commons I voted in favour of the Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts Bill which will enshrine in law the Police Covenant to enhance support and protection for those working within, or retired from policing roles, whether paid or as a volunteer. It is right that those who go out and protect us every day are given greater support themselves.
The legislation will also halt automatic early release of offenders convicted of serious violent and sexual offences, extends Whole Life Orders for the premeditated murder of a child, and will ensure that drivers who cause fatal accidents while racing, using a mobile phone or are under the influence of drugs or alcohol will now face life sentences.
Recent violent protesters and Labour MPs have cynically and sinisterly said ‘kill the bill’ – such language should have no place in our politics.
Henry Smith MP