Wealden police chief role for former Hailsham schoolboy

Inspector Jon Gross: 'An exciting and challenging area'
Inspector Jon Gross: 'An exciting and challenging area'
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A new police Inspector has taken over in Wealden following the retirement of Inspector Tony Wakefield.

Now in charge is Inspector Jon Gross, 51, who come March will have clocked up 27 years’ service with the police in Sussex.

He began his career in Brighton, where he was involved in community policing and during which time he was promoted to sergeant.

He then moved to the East Sussex division, working as a detective in Newhaven, and since 2007 has been part of the force’s public protection team, latterly as an inspector.

Insp Gross has experience of dealing with missing persons, paedophile investigations and was the senior investigating officer for Op Perry, an investigation into non-recent sexual abuse by three Sussex priests.

Of his new role in Wealden he said: “It’s an exciting and challenging area and I am delighted to have been selected to this post. My priority will be to manage our resources so that we provide the right policing response to our towns and rural communities.

“At times that may involve drawing on resources from around the division, something we have implemented very successfully already this month.

“In order to tackle a spike in vehicle crime and burglary we recently deployed officers from across East Sussex to support the Wealden Prevention Team. In a two-week period in mid-January this concerted activity resulted in three separate arrests for burglaries in Crowborough and north Wealden, and the arrest and remand in custody of a man for a spate of thefts from cars in Hailsham and Polegate.”

Insp Gross added: “Although I’ve not policed Wealden before, I am no stranger to the district, having lived here for many years and attended school in Hailsham.

“I am really enjoying my new role, and have already met many tremendously committed community groups, council colleagues, and local and district councillors. I want people to know that I am here to listen and to help support initiatives that keep our Wealden communities safe.”