I got to spend the whole day up in Hangleton yesterday which was a real treat for me. In the morning I chaired a public meeting with residents to discuss policing and crime. Sussex Police very kindly allowed two senior officers to come along and take part. One a chief inspector, Andy, and Simon from the local prevention team.
The discussion was amazing. We had such a great mix of people there and I learned so much from the questions and discussion. For example, several people pointed out pockets of antisocial behaviour which was leading to people taking alternative routes, especially after dark. The police said that they can only know about these things if it is reported. One of the themes for the meeting was that people often assume that police know about things but the police said that particularly with very local situations they depend heavily on being told by residents.
This is obviously in the context of so much of our community policing being cut in recent years so there is an increased reliance on residents to report crime, suspected crime, or areas where you feel unsafe.
Then of course the delays in answering 101 calls came up. The police told us that reporting low-level incidents and concerns online is much easier and it does come straight to them and really helps them understand pockets of concern and allocate resources. So here is the link to report things you’re worried about, I hope this helps:
Another issue that came up a lot is anti-social driving in parts of Hangleton. Many people mentioned this but most powerfully by a young mother who obviously worries about the safety of her very small child. We were told about ‘operation crackdown’ which I’d never heard of. This operation is designed to tackle drivers who persistently drive in a way that is dangerous or blights streets and neighbourhoods. Again you can report this online, you can inform them of car registration numbers and upload photos and videos to illustrate your concerns. This is the website to do this via:
I really wish more people knew about these websites so please share this or spread the word in other ways.
Many issues were covered, from street begging to burglary, and gang activity to the changes made to our policing strategies in recent years in response to cuts. Thank you to everyone there, it was good natured and hugely informative.
In the afternoon I spoke at the AGM for the Hangleton Community Centre. What they do there by providing such a massive range of services from youth groups to dance clubs is just amazing. I couldn’t stay for the 30th birthday party after the AGM but I hear a brilliant party followed. Just think of all the hard work by good people to keep services like that running for thirty years. The pride in the room was palpable and I certainly shared in that.
I hope you’ve been having a great weekend too! All the best, Peter