SUSSEX POLICE ANNOUNCE COUNTDOWN TO EAST SUSSEX DIVISION RESTRUCTURE
September 21 2011.
The new Sussex Police East Sussex Restructure goes live on Tuesday 27 September.
These changes are part of Serving Sussex 2015, where the Force is looking at how it can continue to provide an excellent service to the public by doing things differently, while meeting the financial challenge across the public sector.
East Sussex Divisional Commander, Chief Superintendent Robin Smith, (pictured right), said: "The decision to change the way the division is policed in the future has not been taken lightly. The implementation of this new structure has been worked on for several months and officers and staff have been regularly consulted and informed.
"Sussex Police understands how important neighbourhood policing is to the local community and this will be protected despite the need to make savings. It is not about taking away services or blind cuts, but finding alternative ways to deliver policing.
"We are committed to protecting, or even improving, our service. Quite frankly, we won't be able to do this if we work in the same way with less money and fewer people. Instead, we are looking at how we can do things differently and find ways to cut out waste and bureaucracy. One of the ways we will achieve this is by looking at whether we can provide a better service to local communities by restructuring facilities across the East Sussex Division."
The main changes are:
1) Response officers will be based in five hubs across the division - Hastings, Battle, Eastbourne, Lewes and Uckfield. However, this will not impact on the ability of police to respond to emergency calls and response times should not be effected as the response teams will continue to be mobile, visibly patrolling across the districts as they do now.
Chief Superintendent Smith continued: "The change will only effect where response officers start and finish their shift. After booking on at their base station and receiving a short formal briefing from their supervisor, they will be tasked to go out in the community for the rest of their shift. This new model will allow them to continue to attend emergency and priority calls, but will have less paperwork and so they will be back out into the community more quickly.
2) The CID structure for East Sussex will change to a divisional based model, rather than district based. There will now be three CID hubs - East, West and North consisting of five Detective Inspectors, 15 Detective Sergeants and 57 Detective Constables.
The East CID hub, based at Hastings Police Station, will cover Hastings and Rother. The West CID hub, based at Hammonds Drive, Eastbourne, will have responsibility for Eastbourne, South Lewes, which includes the Newhaven and Seaford area, and South Wealden and the North hub, based at Uckfield Police Station will cover Uckfield, North Wealden and North Lewes districts.
Detective Chief Inspector Mike Ashcroft, Head of East Sussex CID and the Division's Child, Adult and Public Protection Teams said: "The CID Restructure has been based on current demand but resources can be easily moved across the division if need be. CID officers will continue to work closely with their colleagues in response and neighbourhood policing.
"The restructured CID includes a Priority Crime Team consisting of three Detective Sergeants and twelve Detective Constables under the management of one Detective Inspector, based at Hailsham and Hastings. The East Sussex Child Protection Team are based at Hastings and Eastbourne thus providing coverage across the whole of East Sussex. There is also an Adult Protection Team, also based at Hastings and Eastbourne, which will investigate abuse against vulnerable people including domestic abuse, safeguarding of vulnerable adults and hate crime. There are strong partnership links with a number of agencies involved in safeguarding vulnerable adults and children and young people."
3) New Responsive Investigation Teams (RIT), are based in Uckfield, Eastbourne and Hastings. RIT allows secondary investigations to be streamlined and removed from front line response policing. This means that response officers will continue to attend emergency and priority calls, but will then hand over the investigation and, where relevant, prisoners to the dedicated RIT, freeing them up to get back out on the streets quicker. This is an opportunity to provide a high quality crime investigation service to victims. It will reduce duplication and bureaucracy and the number of days it takes to investigate crime and will increase efficiency.
Acting Detective Chief Inspector, Colin Dowle, Head of Crime and Operations said: "I am confident that the inception of the RIT will mean a better investigative service to victims of crime. RIT's are staffed by operational officers and they are not desk bound. They will also go out and interview victims, witnesses and suspects,thus providing a further visible presence in our communities.
"This is an opportunity to provide a high quality crime investigation service to victims. It will reduce duplication and bureaucracy and the number of days it takes to investigate crime and will increase efficiency."
East Sussex Divisional Commander, Chief Superintendent Smith concluded: "I would like to remind the public that the Neighbourhood Police Teams are unchanged. Their main role is to engage with the public, which is more often done during the time when the community is available and want to see the team. The fact they do not work nights does not make them any less effective in reducing crime and bring offenders to justice.
"A review earlier in the year of police station opening hours, formal consultation with our staff and public consultation identified more efficient ways for Sussex Police to provide a front office provision for members of the public.
"The Force has a target of £52 million to save by 2015; altering the hours that front offices are open is just one way in which the force can save money and it makes sense to reduce them at stations which receive low numbers of visitors.
"In an emergency, or when the front office is closed, the public will always be able to contact us quickly either through 999 or the non emergency number, 0845 60 70 999.
"We have one of the best records of all forces in the country at answering these calls quickly, and attending emergency calls within the 15 minute target.
"These changes, ultimately, are aimed at providing the community with a consistent, high quality and relevant service that is fit for today and ready for the future."