Questions asked around begging arrests in Brighton

18/02/2016

Following widespread reporting from local and national media Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) Katy Bourne will question Deputy Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney about Sussex Police’s use of plain clothes officers to target homeless beggars.

WHEN: Friday 19 October, 9-11am

WHERE: Watch live online or catch up in the archive: http://www.sussex-pcc.public-i.tv/core/portal/home

SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow the meeting on Twitter using #SusPolScrutiny.

Other topics under discussion at the meeting include the forthcoming Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and residents’ concerns about illegal hunting in the county.

Commenting ahead of the meeting Mrs Bourne said: “It’s clear that Sussex Police’s use of plain clothed officers to gather evidence against people begging in Brighton and Hove is of great interest to the public.

“With this in mind I will be asking the Chief Constable what specific powers Sussex Police have in relation to begging, and whether there is a reason for using plain clothed officers as a tactic to target beggars. Additionally I want to understand how the force is working with partners to support the homeless and street community in Sussex.

“Child sexual abuse is a subject which I take very seriously, which is why I welcome the forthcoming Independent Inquiry which will investigate whether public bodies and other non-state institutions have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse in England and Wales.

“I want to ensure that, in cases where information is held by multiple organisations, Sussex Police are working with partners to guarantee that nothing is missed, and that no relevant information is being erroneously destroyed.

“Illegal hunting is a subject which I have recently received a lot of correspondence from the public about. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has also published a report which concluded that false trails are sometimes used as an alibi for illegal hunting.

“I will be asking the Chief Constable for his reaction to the report, and what the key challenges are for Sussex Police when it comes to balancing the rights of the hunting community within the confines of the Hunting Act 2004 with the rights to protest of those who are against it.”

Other topics on the agenda at the February PAM include:

• 101 non-emergency call handling times;
• Sussex Police’s position in Stonewall’s recent workplace equality index;
• The findings of HMIC’S PEEL Legitimacy report;
• How last year’s precept increase has been used and;
• How this year’s precept increase will be invested.

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