Your new police commissioner Katy is ready to get to grips with role as ‘the voice of the people’

W44C KATY BOURNE''Katy Bourne, candidate for the upcoming police and crime commissioner elections
W44C KATY BOURNE''Katy Bourne, candidate for the upcoming police and crime commissioner elections

WITH more than a million residents to answer to and a £250 million 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 in yesterday (Thursday)to ‘serve the people of Sussex without fear or favour,’ Mrs Bourne has been getting to grips with her new surroundings and staff at Sackville House in Lewes.

On Monday she will head up the first meeting of the Sussex Police and Crime Panel which includes Hastings councillor Trevor Webb.

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 is 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 in the coming weeks to meet local councillors and members of various community safety partnerships.

There are plans to visit Hastings, St Leonards, Rye and Battle areas.

Mrs Bourne said: “When I held a public meeting in Rye during my campaign, a shopkeeper came and told me all about the problems they have been having at night time.

“He said he was particularly concerned about the drinking culture at the weekend which created rowdiness and left shopkeepers with lots to clean up in the mornings.

“In Hastings I held a street surgery and visited some businesses in the area. Again anti-social behaviour was a problem there.

“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 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 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 am looking forward to meeting chief inspector Heather Keating in Hastings where I think she has done a wonderful job.

“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.”