31/10/2017 - Burgess Hill News – Policing Crisis in Mid Sussex
On Theresa May's watch, police numbers have been cut by 20,000. Arrests have fallen from l.5M in the year ending March 2008 to under 800,000 last year-a drop of almost 50%.
Source-Home Office Statistics October 2017
Cuts to the police force endanger communities and endanger police officers too. Labour's approach to policing crime will be different.
Labour will recruit 10,000 more police officers to work on community beats, equivalent to at least one more for every neighbourhood in the country.
Police and Crime in Burgess Hill
Burgess Hill is facing an increasing problem of anti-social behaviour.
There were 171 crimes reported in August 2017, as follows:
Anti-Social Behaviour 60
Criminal Damage and Arson 12
Public Order 10
Bicycle Theft 8
Other Theft 6
Theft from the person 1
Other Crime 1
Source UKCrimeStats RH15 Mid Sussex
This year in just three months:
- The skate park has been vandalised
- The Cricket Club has been broken into three times in one week
- Fires have been lit deliberately at Bedelands Nature Reserve
- Graffiti has had to be removed
- Dog bins in St Johns Park have been broken
- There have been numerous thefts of tools and garden equipment from locked vans and sheds
The Sussex Police Precept within our council tax was increased for 2017/2018 yet the leaflet from the Police and Crime Commissioner reveals that while the budget for 2017/2018 went up by £0.6M, spending on Police Officers went down by £5.6M and spending on Police Community Support Officers also went down by £3.3M. No wonder there has been no visible increase in the policing of our streets.
Burgess Hill Police Station is now only open from 10am – 2pm Monday to Friday, while Haywards Heath hours stretch into the afternoon as well. Outside of these hours there is no permanent police presence in the local area at all.
The Leader of Burgess Hill Town Council says, “the police can only do so much”. But if there are inadequate numbers of police, how can they protect the community?
The Town Council does little to help either. Should they do more? For example could they provide CCTV cameras in the skate park as was requested to combat the anti-social behaviour there?