Greens pick candidate for Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner election

Kahina BouhassaneKahina Bouhassane
Kahina Bouhassane
The Green Party has announced its candidate ahead of May’s Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner election.

Kahina Bouhassane, who grew up in Brighton and Chiddingly in rural East Sussex, has a background in communications, working in environmental and political journalism both as a freelancer and for local non-profits before moving to education.

She now works in a school in Mid Sussex, supporting key stage 3 students on the autism spectrum.

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Ms Bouhassane, who is mixed race, has been involved in a number of equality campaigns, having protested and marched for women’s rights, Black Lives Matter, LGBTQIA+ rights and Make Votes Matter.

She said: “It is time for change. Years of Tory austerity has led to a police force that cannot serve everyone in the community.

“I have a history of speaking up for residents who are not being heard. Our officers work hard to look after us, but women, black and minority ethnic people and rural communities are being left unsupported. This is completely unacceptable.

“I am committed to ending the rampant inequality in our police force that leaves crimes in rural areas unaddressed, black and minority people poorly treated and women vulnerable.”

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Her slogan is a ‘police for the people’ and she added: “The key thing is more resources and those familiar faces you know that you can rely on in your time of need and that’s what policing should be all about.”

She felt the best way of tackling inequality and unfairness was better community policing and more bobbies on the beat so officers know areas well.

Ms Bouhassane mentioned the need for misogyny to be made a hate crime and highlighted how black people are ten times more likely to be stop and searched.

She also wanted more resources for officers to investigate crimes, including sexual assault and rape cases.

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As the run up to the election is during a pandemic there is no normal campaigning of knocking on doors, but Ms Bouhassane said with more people online than ever before there was a great opportunity to talk directly to voters on social media.

She felt the role of PCC was less about experience and more about being able to listen.

She described being excited about the upcoming campaign and what people want to see from their police.

Katy Bourne is the current Conservative incumbent, while the other announced candidate is Lib Dem Jamie Bennett.