Newly elected Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne swore an oath of impartiality at an event witnessed by both the county’s high sheriffs yesterday (Thursday May 12).
Mrs Bourne was re-elected for a four year term earlier this month on a turnout of 23 per cent ahead of Labour’s Michael Jones in the run-off after first and second preference votes were counted.
After swearing the oath she set out her key priorities, including investing savings to boost frontline policing, improving police response to all types of abuse, and making it easier for the public to access justice.
Mrs Bourne said: “My promise is that where we can find savings within reduced budgets we will invest those into neighbourhood policing because that is what the public in Sussex have said is important to them.
“Sussex Police has made great strides in tackling domestic abuse, child abuse and child sexual exploitation but going forward, Sussex residents have also said they want us to look at elder abuse.
“We have an increasing older population, particularly in our coastal and rural areas, and abuse of our elderly is something that I will be looking to Sussex Police to have a particular focus upon.
She also pointed to financial coercion and abuse, scams of theft and fraud as well as cybercrime.
“I also want to improve access to justice for members of the public,” Mrs Bourne added.
“Police officers can now give evidence into magistrates courts direct from police stations which saves huge amounts of officer time. But I also want to improve access to justice for the public as well.
“This will enable members of the public to give evidence from public buildings in the future without the need to travel long distances to sit around in court all day.
“This is really opening up the justice system to members of the public and making it fairer for all.”
The oath of impartiality was witnessed by East Sussex’s high sheriff Michael Foster and Mark Spofforth, high sheriff of West Sussex.
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