Aldwick News

The Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Latest Update

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SPCC Safer in Sussex

 
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Hello

During my regular conversations with Sussex residents and from their correspondence, I know just how important road safety and considerate driving is to so many people. Most of us use the roads in one form or another every week and I’m sure we have all seen examples of dangerous and anti-social driving?

I also understand the disruptiveness and aggravation caused by noisy vehicles. That’s why ‘roads policing’ was a priority in my campaign to be Sussex PCC and why it will be a priority in my new Police and Crime Plan.

Sussex Police already have a dedicated operation which aims to reduce the numbers of people killed or seriously injured in collisions and reduce reports of anti-social driving and riding. The Operation, named Downsway, also sees officers across the county engaging with and educating road users.

Op Downsway focuses on tackling all the ‘fatal five’ offences which are: careless driving; drink/drug driving; not wearing a seatbelt; excessive speed and distracted driving (including using a mobile phone). However, with motorcyclists accounting for 20% of fatalities on UK roads whilst making up less than 2% of road users, the Operation has a particular focus on motorbikes.

Under Op Downsway, each policing district in Sussex has a ‘point of contact’. The officer acting as the ‘point of contact’ is always aware of where specialist and dedicated road’s policing resources will be on a weekly basis so they can enhance efforts in particular locations, including holding road safety intensification weekends once a month. It is reassuring to see that motorcycle fatalities have reduced threefold from 2022 to 2023 - in 2022 there were 14 motorcycle fatalities and in 2023, there were five.

As I see it, many collisions are preventable and one death on our county’s roads is still one too many.

In my fourth term as Sussex PCC, I intend to set up a dedicated ‘Fatal Five Unit’ to move forward the Vision Zero approach to road safety and cut fatal and serious collisions by half by 2035.

We are already seeing good results from Op Downsway which re-launched in March. Since April 2024, nearly 800 vehicle stops have been carried out and over 400 Traffic Offence Reports (TORs) have been given for offences including driving recklessly, speeding and using mobile phones. TORs result in various outcomes such as: educational courses; fines; points on licences; and even summons to court.

11 people have also been arrested under the Op, with seven of the arrests being for drink/drug driving.

In an upcoming Performance & Accountability Meeting, I will be asking the Chief Constable and her senior team for further statistics on outcomes and scrutinising the performance of Operation Downsway and will report back to you via this newsletter.

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Celebrating Sussex Day

 

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Sunday 16 June is Sussex Day. The date was chosen because it is St Richard's Day, which marks the life of St Richard, Bishop of Chichester in the 13th century.

The day is a great way for all of us to recognise and celebrate Sussex’s rich heritage and culture. I was born and raised in Sussex – it is my home and it’s always been important to me that we keep it safe for current and future generations.

As part of my own ‘There’s No Place Like Sussex’ celebration, I thought it might be interesting to give you a peek into Sussex Police HQ – Malling House. You can watch the video on my YouTube channel where I also speak with Chief Constable Shiner about what it’s like being Sussex Police’s first female Chief Constable.

I look forward to seeing many of you across the county throughout the year as I visit towns and villages in Sussex, bringing attention to our policing history and detailing how much Sussex and our police force has evolved, as well as hearing your thoughts on policing today.

Have a happy and safe Sussex Day.

Katy

 

Katy Bourne OBE

 

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner