LETTER: This is not an equal start

Reference Friday March 10th edition: ‘The boss of Sussex Police has signed a commitment for gender equality’, surely the Chief Constable of Sussex.

My understanding is that the He for She campaign is about creating equality between the genders.

Impartiality, dealing with people equally, but the next paragraph states, ‘combating violence against women and girls’, not a very equal start. Also it doesn’t mean having an equal number of officers of each gender, the public need warranted Police Officers, well-trained, well-equipped, physically fit and aware of their powers, basically the best individual for the job.

That takes me onto Business Wardens, ‘Going on Patrol with targeted Police powers’.

The start of Policing on the cheap was PCSOs, ‘the link between the police and community’. Back in the day the police were out in the community, they were their own link.

But it didn’t take too long for the link to break, with PCSOs ending up in cars. Exit the PCSO, enter the super PCSO, fewer of them with additional powers. Then the inevitable, currently Business Wardens, the sliding in of privatisation under the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme whereby public and private bodies can be given certain powers [the full range is quiet an eye opener] to work in partnership with the police. Looks like an opening for some well-known outfits of poor reputation to start running things, best known for running with the money.

The public have no idea what the powers of two of the tiers are, that can only lead to confusion and confrontation.

Next step? Probably allowing councils to create a business model with volunteers, they can be empowered to issue penalty tickets for a wide range of offences. That’ll be interesting.

The Sussex PCC is concerned and disappointed that Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabularies deemed Sussex as ‘requiring improvement’. I think it’s probably best the HMIC sticks to inspecting the Police and doesn’t ask the public view. Very sadly, the general public perceive our essential, overstretched and underfunded Police as invisible, albeit there is much good work being done.

Underfunding by Government Grant is the root cause of the lack in numbers of Police Officers balanced against an ever increasing population.

Lastly, a leaflet with my council tax bill; “our extra funding will provide 52 officers and 3 specialist vehicles across Surrey and Sussex”. Soon to be known as Sursex Police?

Paul Woolmer

Wannock Drive, Polegate