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Police Community Support Officers

Letter to Sussex Police Commissioner on policing in Round Hill

Following the loss of the Police Community Support Officer dedicated to our area, Sandy Thomas from The Round Hill Society wrote to Katy Bourne's office. Click HERE to read

Possible bid for funding project to reduce crime &/or improve community safety in Round Hill. Please bring your ideas to our Round Hill Annual Get-Together

Cuts to Police Community Support Officers

CRIME and ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR is more of a problem now than it was a year ago, survey results suggest:

As with many other areas of our city, Round Hill has lost its community police officer. Bonnie's last day with Sussex Police was on 25th November 2016 and she sent through the November Crime Figures for our neighbourhood that morning. We thank her for her excellent work. 

Numbers of Police Community Support Officers have been reduced and their roles redefined as described at Sussex Police's website at www.sussex.police.uk/news/new-pcso-role-being-introduced-to-proactively-solve-problems-and-tackle-local-issues

While understanding that budgets for public services are tight, many observers of these changes question whether they will really bring about economy without undermining the significant contribution which PCSOs were making in their previous role to the prevention of crime.

Residents in Round Hill have found the work of PCSOs within our own ward (St Peter's and North Laine) to be helpful and indeed exemplary, providing the most positive experience of policing we can remember witnessing in our lives. And some of us have lived long lives to date.

Both older and younger residents have appreciated seeing faces we recognise on the beat both in Round Hill and in other areas of the city (e.g. Ditchling Rise, The Level, London Road shops etc).

There has been similar appreciation of PCSOs within the Local and National Press:

Our concerns & appreciation of our PCSOs

The above reports mark the new reality that neighbourhoods like Round Hill, the Triangle, St Peter's and North Laine now notice fewer PCSOs on the beat because

  • 1. there are already fewer of them (some did not wish to re-apply for jobs involving them in more time behind desks than before)
  • 2. those who remain in work are no longer assigned to clusters of neighbourhoods close together

This is disappointing news because "taking away the familiar face" could very easily undo the good relationships which have been achieved through the dedication of PCSOs who have had time to get to know particular communities in our city.

Our Police and Crime Commissioner will have sampled opinions on the value of community policing during her re-election campaign. It is always possible for us to communicate with our representatives between elections and to reiterate the examples of policing we should like to see followed and built on rather than redefined and reduced. Budgetry constraints may not last for ever and members of the public have a part to play in defining priorities.



  1. See Call for greater police presence to stop neighbourhood being turned into a "no go area" [The Argus: 22 October 2016]
  2. See PCSO changes could harm policing
    [The Argus: 25 March 2016]
  3. See Bobbies on the beat really do prevent crime
  4. What does a PCSO do?
  5. What are the powers of a Police and Crime Commissioner?
  6. Elections for Police and Crime Commissioner
  7. Report on major changes to work of PCSOs [Worthing Herald 15 Dec 2015]
  8. Sussex police propose cutting the numbers of PCSOs [Splash FM report, 15 Dec 2015]
  9. Police and Crime Plan 2013/17 - Safer in Sussex
  10. Sussex Police Unison - local policing under threat
  11. Sussex Police Union's responses to home office consultation on changes

Police and Crime Commissioner Elections: 5th May 2016

Katy Bourne was re-elected with 41.78 % of first choice votes.  

The difference between second-choice votes was narrower. Mrs Bourne for the Conservative Party got 25,375 with Mr Jones for Labour polling 24,765 second-choice votes.

See The Argus report on the results

This page was last updated by Ted on 06-Oct-2018
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