Ten years on with PCSOs in Sussex

Ten years ago, Battle-based Daryl Holter became part of the first intake of Police Community Support Officers in Sussex.

A decade on, the former motorcycle mechanic remains part of the organisation which celebrates its 10th anniversary on March 3.

Daryl says that making a difference, helping people, and preventing and detecting crime are what has kept him in the role for the last decade.

“The role has developed enormously in that time,” said Daryl, who now specialises in wildlife crime and is a PCSO tutor.

“When I first arrived I hit the ground running, however I learnt very quickly that to solve a problem was not a one man job and to deal effectively with issues it is a real benefit to work with others.

“I soon identified that working with partner agencies, authorities, local groups and those on ground level were key and this is one area that has developed through time.

The role has developed due to making myself accessible, together with listening and reassuring the public I serve. Ten years later I have an excellent team that I work with and have created strong links within my communities.”

Providing a visible and reassuring presence for the public and strengthening strong working relationships within the community - that’s what Sussex Police promised 10 years ago when the first Community Support Officers took to the streets of Sussex!

Today marks the 10th anniversary of PCSOs in Sussex and their role has gone from strength to strength; the Force now employs 362 officers across the whole of Sussex, many in specialist roles including wildlife officers and school liaison.

In 2003, 21 men and women became the first ever intake of PCSOs in Sussex Police. Ten years on, six are still employed by the Force, four of whom are still in their original roles!

Assistant Chief Constable Robin Merrett, who heads Neighbourhood Policing for Sussex Police, said: “The best way to sum up the difference that PCSOs have made is that it is difficult to imagine how we ever managed without them, both within policing and our communities.

“As I travel around Sussex to attend meetings with the public, I am regularly told incredibly positive stories about the work a particular PCSO has undertaken.

“Examples include assisting individuals who have been persistent victims of anti social behaviour, or listening to the needs of a community and then doing something positive with the information. People have told me how their local community has been transformed as a result of a PCSO’s work.

“PCSOs play a vital role in Neighbourhood Policing Teams; they are a visible and accessible presence. I am confident that PCSOs across all districts serve Sussex Police and their local neighbourhoods professionally and with dedication, taking responsibility for getting things done.

“As we celebrate 10 years of PCSOs in Sussex Police I would like to personally thank all of these officers, past and present, for the work they have done and the success they have delivered.”

Throughout this week, Sussex Police will be staging a number of events to mark the anniversary, including a series of street briefings around the county.

These include:

March 4:

Meet PCSO Adam Cox outside PebshamPrimary School, School Place, Bexhill, between 8.30am and 9.30am

Meet PCSO Tina Grevett in the High Street, Robertsbridge. She’ll be patrolling the street between 11am and 12pm

Meet PCSO Daryl Holter outside the Red Lion Public House, Hooe, between 6pm and 7pm

March 5:

Meet PCSO Tom McAspurn at The Bistro, Etchingham Railway Station, between 9.30am and 10.30am

Meet PCSO Demi Georghiou at St Marks Church, Staplecross, between 10am and 11am

St Stephens Ward Neighbourhood Panel - Meet local officers to discuss concerns and help decide your priorities for the next three months between 7pm and 8.30pm

March 6:

‘Meet the People’ event is taking place in Priory Meadow shopping centre. This is a partnership event with the council, police and other agencies, from 9am to 5pm.

Meet PCSO Adam Cox outside St Mary Magdalen School, Bexhill between 8.30am and 9.30am

Meet PCSO Demi Georghiou inLevetts Lane, Bodiam. He’ll be patrolling the area between 10am and 11am

Meet local officers at Rye Library,High Street,Rye, between 11am and 12pm

Catsfield Parish Council meeting - PCSO Daryl Holter will be attending the meeting to discuss local priorities between 7pm and 8.30pm

March 7:

Meet your local PCSO at The Orchard Farm Shop, Hurst Green, between 11am and 12pm