Police Officer Numbers: Sussex

Home Department – in the House of Commons on 28th October 2019.

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Photo of Maria Caulfield Maria Caulfield Conservative, Lewes

What steps she is taking to increase the number of police officers in Sussex.

Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel The Secretary of State for the Home Department

The Government are committed to recruiting 20,000 new police officers over the next three years, with energy and pace. This reflects the biggest recruitment drive in decades, and I know my hon. Friend will welcome the recent announcement that Sussex police have been allocated another 129 officers in the first year of the programme.

Photo of Maria Caulfield Maria Caulfield Conservative, Lewes

I thank the Home Secretary for her answer. Will she join me in welcoming the announcement from Sussex police that they intend to use their extra funding to reintroduce PCSOs across towns and villages in Lewes?

Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel The Secretary of State for the Home Department

My hon. Friend is right—and yes, the Government are more than supportive of police plans to increase the number of PCSOs and their presence across towns and villages, in her constituency in Sussex and across the country. This is all about how, through our new police recruitment drive, we can do more to keep the public safe and increase police visibility.

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Independent, Wimbledon

I am delighted to hear about the increase in the numbers of police in Sussex, but will the Home Secretary also reassure me that the London Borough of Merton will see an increase in its officers? Will she support my campaign to keep the police station in Wimbledon open, so that those police officers have somewhere to operate out of?

Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel The Secretary of State for the Home Department

My hon. Friend is absolutely right, and I know that he will welcome the increase in police numbers—more than 1,300 for the Metropolitan police service. Of course, the issue is now all about local police presence and ensuring that more officers are on the beat. That is exactly what will happen in his borough.