Unanimous support for £5.00 police precept rise
“I asked Panel members to consider my proposal to invest in digital forensics and in protecting vulnerable people from sexual and domestic abuse.
“The Chief Constable made a business case for investment in these areas to ensure Sussex Police can more quickly analyse and retrieve digital information to speed investigations, and to better protect victims of abuse and prosecute offenders.
“I welcomed the Panel members’ scrutiny and consideration of the proposal and appreciate their positive endorsement.
“Sussex Police has seen a significant increase in demand for digital forensics services in the last four years. A recent case identified over a million indecent images on one device and another where 56,000 emails had to be analysed, and cases like these can take weeks of a specialist’s time to investigate.
“The police want to ensure these investigations are completed quickly to deliver better criminal justice outcomes for victims so I am pleased that the public and Panel members appreciate the need for additional resources.”
Chief Constable Giles York said: “I’m pleased that the Police and Crime Panel has supported the proposals, based on the business case I presented to the Commissioner. This will allow us to invest in helping to protect vulnerable people and enhance our digital forensics capacity.”
The Precept increase will support an investment of £1.8m in digital forensics over the next year.
The extra £5 a year (per Band D property) will also provide an investment of £1.3m over the next year for 40 police officers and five police staff focusing on protecting vulnerable people.
“There has been increased reporting in Sussex of Child Abuse, Rape and Domestic Abuse, and our level of understanding around Child Sexual Exploitation has grown significantly over the last two years,” Mrs Bourne continued.
“I want to increase the level of resourcing and skills to match the increased demand, and build on my previous investments in safeguarding hubs and dedicated sexual liaison officers.
“I am grateful for the support we have received from the Panel and from the public. You will be able to monitor how that investment is progressing in my webcast monthly meetings with the Chief Constable.”