Message from the District Commander
As we are fast approaching the end of the policing year I am really pleased to say that we are still achieving the target of a 3% reduction in overall crime. Highlights are the huge reduction of over 27% in all injury violence and a 13% reduction in reported criminal damage. However on the of April we start again purely from a performance point of view, but I would like to reassure you that the date is immaterial because my staff and I are committed in our efforts to keep people safe, cutting crime and catching criminals.
The 1st of April also sees the start of the new West Sussex Policing Division, which incorporates Horsham, Chichester, Arun, Worthing and Adur and Crawley Districts. This is important because of the changes to how policing will be conducted in West Sussex. There maybe on occasions officers from any of these Districts supporting my staff in responding to an emergency call along with specialists such as Dogs'' , Firearms and Road Policing officers. Secondary Investigators will be based at Crawley, Worthing and Chichester and will be overseen by Detective Inspectors.
I would like to assure you that we will still have a response team based at Horsham, but if my teams are unable to attend then other closer units will be dispatched to help. We are still maintaining local officers at Steyning and Pulborough a have facilities at Southwater and Billingshurst. For the future we are working with partners to establish community offices in Storrington and Hendfield, which will allow the local staff more opportunity to be visible and accessible.
I along with the Neighbourhood Policing teams are forging even closer links with the community safety department and voluntary organisations in order to try and reduce the impact of the cuts taking place across the public sector. We all realise the consequences of a reduction in services and by sharing information we will be better placed to target our resources with the most appropriate people.
With the changes in policing deployment method, there have been changes in staff and Inspector Paul Williams who is already based at Horsham and has previous experience working in the southern area of Horsham takes over from Inspector Tim Tapley heading the neighbourhood team. I would personally like to thank Tim for all of his efforts and support over the last 15 months. Inspector Ben Starns is moving from Crawley to head the response teams and has A very good knowledge of Horsham having worked here previously as a Sgt. PC Julian Pinkney is joining the Neighbourhood Team at Steyning from Shoreham.
Areas of concern in the Spring months are the increased number of thefts of garden equipment, fuel, metal, horse riding equipment and from vehicles especially in beauty spot car parks. I would urge people to review their own security and if you feel you need help please contact the crime prevention officers Neville Wren or Alan Haffenden on 0845 6070999 extn 30301 or 30213.
Some successes this month include the arrest of 5 people who broke into a commercial premises in Billingshurst and following searches around the area all of the property was recovered. The arrest of suspects for the theft of £150,000 worth of copper cable from Rookwood area who were disturbed whilst in the process of stealing the cable. Seizure of cannabis resin and cash from a drugs warrant.
I would like to finish on the recent press release from the community safety team at Horsham which Cleary indicates Horsham is a safe place to live and work." Crime comparison data issued by the Police reveals that up to the end of January 2011 the Horsham District had the lowest number of recorded crimes in the county with 4790 for the year in total. This was a reduction of 478 crimes when compared to the previous 12 month period and was the second largest reduction in West Sussex".