Speaking at Bognor Regis Town Council last night, Katy Bourne said: “The threat level in this country remains at severe, whether you feel threatened from a terrorism attack or not I, as your police and crime commissioner, cannot take the risk that Sussex Police won’t be able to respond in time to save life.
“God forbid we had a marauding terrorist incident like we saw in Tunisia with somebody with a sub machine gun on the beaches of Brighton or even in Bognor - although probably I am more inclined to think it might happen in Brighton because of the density of population,” she added. “I need to be able to say to people we have the right resource there.”
During the meeting Ms Bourne outlined where the police precept, a council tax levy, will be spent.
“I don’t want to do any of this smoke and mirror effect where all you hear is good news,” she said, stating that ‘policing still has to tighten its belt’.
However she added a promise the funds will go on counteracting terrorism, more officers to respond to serious and sexual offences and neighbourhood policing.
“The money that I raise on your local council tax, your police precept, will get spent in those areas and it will not go to plug any gaps in the budget.
“What I didn’t want to do is put up all our taxes just to see it go down the black hole of savings.”
Ms Bourne added that ‘the policing model is changing’ due to the Internet, with funding going into what she dubbed ‘modern crimes’.
“They are old crimes but they are being delivered in a more modern way if you like,” she said.
A public consultation saw the majority of respondents support an increase in the police precept and, as a result, a £5 annual increase for a Band D household has been introduced for 2017/2018. This is set to raise a further £3m taking the funds raised from council tax from £88.8m for 2016/2017 to £93.2m for this financial year, according to figures released by Katy Bourne’s office.
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