Sussex Police: Labour says force has seen more than £57 million drop in funding since 2010

Katy Bourne
Katy Bourne

Funding from central government to Sussex Police has fallen by more than £57 million since 2010, according to the Labour Party.

New analysis of National Audit Office data by the party shows that the drop totalled £57,256,043 in real-terms over the last eight years.

Peter Chowney

Peter Chowney

Last month, the Home Secretary admitted that “there is a need for more resources” for the police.

Katy Bourne, the Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex, recently told a meeting in St Leonards that she would take £17 million from reserves to improve frontline policing in Hastings.

Peter Chowney, speaking as Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) for Hastings and Rye, said: “Austerity for our police is the last thing we need in Hastings and Rye. We have been told by Government that austerity is over, so why are we still seeing cuts to police budgets?

“Since 2010, police resources have been cut dramatically. Enormous demands are being made on the police to tackle the ‘county-line’ drugs trade, address safeguarding of children issues and cybercrime, all of which have increased significantly.

“I’m pleased that additional short-term funding for policing in Hastings town centre has been found. But this does not solve the longer-term police funding crisis, nor does it address the concerns local people have about policing in other parts of Hastings and Rye.

“Frontline police officers do not seem to be covered by reserves money. Despite asking questions about it we have had no answers.

“We desperately need ‘bobbies on the beat’ to deal with street-drinking and anti-social behaviour.

“Any additional police officers that may be recruited will mostly fulfil Home Office priorities, which include older people who go missing from dementia care homes, which is an increasing problem and very labour intensive, involving imaging cameras, and helicopters.

“ESCC funding cuts have meant that care homes can’t afford the necessary security. Cybercrime, organised crime and drugs across county lines and child protection are other Home Office priorities. Frontline officers are always an after-thought.”

Mrs Bourne said: “Sussex Police has begun its largest intake of police officers for more than 10 years which will see an extra 200 officers put back into neighbourhood policing across our county by 2022.

“By increasing the amount you pay for policing in your council tax (on average £12 per household) and releasing £17m from our reserves, Sussex Police is now able to invest in frontline policing.

“We are of course still looking for more efficient ways to deliver some services, especially through technology and collaboration, and it is only right to acknowledge the pressure police officers and staff experience due to increasing demand and a more complex workload.

“With other PCCs I am lobbying the Government to support policing and I’m pleased that we recently saw the Home Secretary say he recognised the pressure that police forces are operating under and pledged to press for the best possible funding settlement for policing.

“On a local basis, I have been working with MP Amber Rudd on a bid for extra funding from the Home Office Early Intervention Youth Fund. If we are successful, part of this funding will try and steer young people away from a life of crime and inject some positive youth projects back into the communities.”