This week 70 new police officers completed their training, and a further 38 have started theirs as part of the biggest recruitment drive in Sussex for over ten years, made possible by this year’s increase in the police element of council tax - the precept.

Last week the Government announced the provisional funding settlement for policing in a £970 million package that gives Police & Crime Commissioners the ability, should they wish, to raise the precept above the current £12 limit.

This unprecedented funding opportunity could help Sussex to recruit substantial numbers of PCSOs and even more police officers, as well as improving the public contact service, especially the 101 non-emergency number. Although no final decisions will be made until early February next year, the Chief Constable and the PCC, Katy Bourne, have indicated their commitment to ensure that residents will see and feel the benefit of any extra funding raised locally.

If you have not already done so, you can give the PCC your views on police funding by completing a very short survey available on her website at

I have been asked by the PCC to pass on her thanks to all Neighbourhood Watch volunteers for your support of Sussex Police throughout the year, which I am doing with great pleasure.

Season's greetings to all

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