A smarter approach to preventing, detecting and tackling crime is promised by the new model announced by Sussex Police this week.
The model hinges on newly formed 'Prevention Teams' which were formerly called Neighbourhood Policing Teams. They will be composed on skilled PCSOs, police officers and staff who will be tasked to prevent crime and to actively target issues at the local level.
The teams will be seen on street patrols and will be expected to work closely with partners, such as the Brighton & Hove BCRP, to provide smarter solutions to on-going issues.
The new model will include three basic elements;- Prevention Teams will work with partners to establish the best way to solve crimes especially repeat issues and organising targeted patrols in direct response to local issues. They will make the best use of local intelligence to ensure that they are in the right place at the right time.
Response Teams will cope with emergencies and resolve less serious incidents that do not necessarily require a face-to-face visit with the victim They will also provide proactive intervention in 'vulnerable areas'.
Investigation Teams gathering evidence and assuming responsibility for investigating serious crimes such as assault, theft and harassment that stand a decent chance of leading to a prosecution. They will also proactively pursue and manage rehabilitating offenders. It is anticipated that they will use the very latest technological and digital technology to catch criminals.
The county based teams will also be able to call upon the expertise of regional and national agencies such as the National Police Air Service and the Organised Crime Unit.
Like all police forces Sussex Police is trying to do more with less and the outline of how this might work appears at first glance to be a reasonable way to organise a force that has fewer police officers and limited resources.
While all three teams will play an important role, as the name suggests, the Prevention Teams will be trying to nip crime in the bud or preclude crimes from happening in the first place. As a consequence a large part of their success will depend upon how well they work with partner agencies like the local authority and the Brighton & Hove BCRP. We look forward to a long-standing and productive relationship developing further under the new regime.