Police’s most urgent need is manpower

YOUR article about the Labour candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner reminds us all of the appalling decision to replace police authorities with elected police commissioners.

Our Sussex Police Authority is currently responsible for police strategy and has a spread of members, eight of whom are councillors. This surely provides much more local accountability.

It is, of course, gracious of the candidate to offer a part of his salary to police and victims’ charities but I cannot help wondering how many police officers could be paid out of that salary and all the costs of his staff and office.

The candidate says that his focus will be the rights of victims of crime. Victims of serious crime are helped through the legal process by Police Support Officers and any victim of crime is entitled to write out a victim impact statement which is given to the court after a plea or finding of guilt.

I do hope that the candidate will remember that in our system of justice it is the state who is the prosecutor and not the victim.

The candidate also says that he will focus on domestic violence. It always seems odd to me that everyone is keen on listening to what the victim wants until the victim of domestic violence says that she or he wants to drop the charges against her or his partner and wants him or her back at home.

I would much rather leave policing decisions to the police. They understand how the law works.

What they need far more than party political posturing is enough manpower to assemble evidence properly.

ANGELA HAWKSLEY

White House

Pett Level