As the Executive Member for Health and Well-Being at Adur District Council, which includes responsibility for safer communities as well as the wider aspects, Councillor David Simmons sits as a member of the above panel representing Adur District, which holds the Police Commissioner to account.
If anyone wishes Councillor David Simmons to raise issues with the Police Commissioner, they can contact him direct on firstname.lastname@example.org. David welcomes information about policing issues in his role as police liaison and will respond to any requests.
Alternatively they can contact Ninesh Edwards, at email@example.com who provides the secretariat for the Police and Crime Panel. He will then raise the matter on your behalf.
Videos of the meetings can be found on the East Sussex County Council web-site, as all public meetings are held at East Sussex County Council in Lewes.
In addition, he sits on two working groups, where his previous experience as a senior police officer helps to formulate and comment upon the Police Commissioner's strategic approaches to policing. These working groups consider the annual 'Policing Plan' for Sussex as well as 'Victim Services' and 'Restorative Justice' He also sits as a memer of the panel considering complaints against the PCC
He has taken part in a discussion about 'Restorative Justice' which is designed to deal with offenders without the need to go to court, which includes bringing victims of crime together with the offender to help them to face up to their offences. Research has shown that this method of dealing wth offenders not only gives the victim satisfaction, but also is a good preventative measure in stopping reoffending.The PCC has shown a great deal of support for this process and employs a dedicated person in her office to that effect.
During this latest PCP meeting, Councillor David Simmons challenged the Police Commissioner in a number of areas of responsibility. These included:
Councillor David Simmons has arranged to meet Sgt. Varrall outside of the meeting to examine ways in which this scheme can be further enhanced with permanent as an alternative to permanent exclusion from school in some cases.
Councillors Val Turner (Worthing) and David Simmons (Adur) who represent local people on the Police and Crime Panel, holding the Police and Crime Commissioner to account.
On 26th September, Councillor Simmons attended a working group to discuss the PCC's proposals for the policing plan for 2018-19, together with the budget at the new fleet facility in Crawley Down. This was an opportunity to discuss the way forward for Sussex Police in collaboration with Surrey an the way in which the latest precepts are being spent to facilitate the appointment of a further 200 officers over the net 2 years.
It is common knowledge now, that Sussex Police, along with other forces, have to make huge financial savings across the force over the next few years. Inevitably, this means that all areas of policing will be scrutinised to develop new ways of working and delivering quality services while saving money.
Whether this is possible or not remains to be seen. Neighbourhood Policing Teams for instance, will undoubtedly see changes with a restructuring of areas of responsiblity both locally and across West Sussex. This interface with the community is in my view crucial to a responsive and quality service, and this is something I have already raised with the previous Deputy Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney (now Chief Constable of Hampshire).
Undoubtedly the new arrangements to police on "Threat, Harm and Risk" which is the current police 'mantra' will cause a vacuum in the community as those officers and PCSOs who were posted to community duties, now work in a more centralised role, being deployed where there is evidence to suggest people are exposed to 'Threat Harm and Risk'. Undoubtedly there is a loss of local knowledge, which will impact on police ability to deal with local situations, crime and otherwide.
Whatever the future brings, local people can rest assured that as a member of the Police and Crime Panel, I will ensure that we continue to challenge all the changes to get the best possible outcomes for local people.
I am currently interrogating and monitoring the new arrangements for the Sussex Police 'Resolution Centre' which is designed to reduce demand by dealing with matters over the telephone and seeking to find an early solution to the issues. While in some cases that is possible, I am sure that in some cases, this does not solve the problem, and I wanted to be reassured that where necessary, patrols will STILL be directed to attend and deal with issues.
I visited the centre on 3rd October, and found that staff are dealing with issues professionally. A useful feature is the ability to route all calls about a specific incident or area to one named officer, who is able to collate the intelligence to support allocation of police resources. This goes some way towards providing the necessary support for local issue resolution, although the level of local knowledge previously held by local officers and PCSOs may still be questionable.
Councillor David Simmons
42 Greenways Crescent
Tel: 01273 464018 (home)
Mobile: 0772 505 4389
Executive Member for Finance and Deputy Leader at Adur District Council
Councillor Angus Dunn
86, Church Green
Tel.: 01273 870067
Mobile: 07760 486552