Newly-formed crime prevention teams are to patrol the streets of Sussex, as part of changes to the local policing model.

Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) equipped with enhanced powers will work in the teams, along with officers and staff, according to Sussex Police.

They are to cover neighbourhoods across Sussex, as part of efforts to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour from taking place.

Sussex Police said the model also strengthens its specialist methods for investigating cybercrime, child sexual exploitation, domestic abuse and serious sexual offences.

The force said the changes would allow them to take a smarter approach in the way they prevent, detects and tackle crime in local areas across Sussex.

Chief Constable Giles York said Sussex Police have tried to preserve neighbourhood policing in the way it has been valued across the county.

He said:

“There have been incredibly challenging times and we have had to make some difficult decisions as we manage operating with new demands and fewer people – choosing where best my officers should spend their time to keep people as safe as possible.

“The launch of our local policing model, along with our vision for future policing, shows our commitment to be accessible and maintain the safest communities.”

Chief Constable Giles York
Chief Constable Giles York

Officers are to be equipped with mobile technology to complete tasks while out in the community as part of the changes, according to the force.

An Investigation and Resolution Centre has also been launched for staff to provide advice over the phone or online.

Sussex Police said the centre had reduced the need for officers to attend incidents in 42,000 cases in its first year, allowing them to be deployed to help those in need.

The force have also announced they will collaborate with Surrey Police in future, in areas such as firearms, road policing and responding to major crime incidents.

Sussex Police and Crime Comisssioner Katy Bourne said she would ‘closely monitor’ the output of the new prevention teams.

She said:

“Sussex Police must deploy its officers and resources where they can have the greatest impact both in detecting and preventing crimes and that will mean visible changes to some communities.

“To retain public confidence, the prevention teams will need to reach out to the public and show that, although the service may look different on the ground, it remains effective, alert and absolutely focused on the issues that matter to local people.”