Crime falls but people need to feel safe: police meeting
"WE want to be taken seriously and we want to see you doing something."
That was the almost universal appeal from a packed Horntye Park Complex on Tuesday night as Hastings residents and councillors attended a public consultation with Sussex Police Authority.
And despite Chief Inspector Ken Taylor's words that crime in Hastings is down he made it clear they understood their responsibility to not only reduce crime but to make the people feel safer too.
He said: "It's all good news. Hastings is definitely getting safer but we have to work on making the people feel safer too and we are taking steps to achieve this."
But the public were less convinced and expressed concerns over emergency call centres being outside the area, an apparent lack of interest from these centres and an apparent lack of action.
Ken Taylor said: "I must apologise to those of you who called in to report drug activity.
"It may have appeared nothing was happening, but it was all taken very seriously and contributed to Operation Vertigo which culminated in the arrests made during last Wednesday's dawn raids. I can assure you Hastings Police take every call seriously and I would ask you all to keep phoning us because without your help many arrests would not be possible."
A the meeting, chaired by Laurie Bush from the Sussex Police Authority, with the chief inspector and David Furness from the Safer Hastings Partnership, the public also expressed concerns over youths causing trouble in the town, speeding, drink and alcohol problems.
The panel said the visual presence of more officers, including Police Community Support Officers, would alleviate these anti-social problems.
Laurie Bush said: "There are now 12 PCSOs in Hastings. This will rise to 18 in the near future when training is complete and this will make a real difference to the visible presence of the police on the streets and go a long way to making the people feel safer in their town."