Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Watching the detectives for another two years...

Last week councillors from across Sussex met in Lewes to decide who will represent residents on Sussex Police Authority for the next two years.

The good news is that I have been reappointed - and will continue to give a 'green' voice to deliberations about policing in the city.

The bad news is Brighton Council has only been given one member - down from two last time.

Last 'term', I was joined by Tory cabinet member Geoffrey Theobald - but he's been pushed out of the authority after councillors from East and West Sussex joined forces to argue that I should be the city's sole voice on policing.

I think this is a little silly - as most of the crime happens in the city, and we play host to some eight million tourists a year, who all need policing too.

But the argument didn't prevail. Instead a calculation was made based purely on population. Brighton and Hove is entitled to just one and a half of the nine members - we had two last tine, so this time we'll just have the one member.

Currently, I serve as the Sussex Police Authority lead member on environmental sustainability and reducing alcohol-related harm – and sit on the committees responsible for organising independent custody visitors and community engagement, but all that'll be up for discussion at the SPA annual meeting on July 30th.

One thing is clear, though: the approach I'll take to how policing should be delivered.

I’ll continue to push for more PCSOs and more cash for neighbourhood policing and community safety groups, better services for the victims of domestic violence, better protection for communities, children and vulnerable adults from alcohol-related harm, and environmental improvements in the way policing is delivered.

We’ve already seen improvements in all these areas over the last two years – and I am really looking forward to pushing for a model of policing that reflects Brighton and Hove’s ‘green’ aspirations, based on human rights, enhancing communities, compassion – and more help for the victims of crime.

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