Nick Herbert supports local neighbourhood policing
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert visited Arundel Police Station on Friday (17 December) to meet a local Police Community Support Officer and express his support for their role in neighbourhood policing.
Mr Herbert, who is the Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice, also joined PCSO Lee Matthews on a brief patrol through the town centre.
The MP also met Inspector Antony Leadbeatter, Sergeant Carolyn Kendall and other members of the Neighbourhood Policing Team at Arundel Police Station. A range of issues were discussed including late night licensing, where Mr Herbert raised constituents' concerns about anti-social behaviour in Arundel late on Friday and Saturday evenings.
PCSO Matthews wrote to Mr Herbert in September about his concern for the future of Police Community Support Officers in response to an article in a national newspaper.
Mr Herbert was able to reassure him that, although the balance between PCSOs and sworn officers would be a decision for chief constables and the new elected Police and Crime Commissioners in future, the Government strongly supported the role of PCSOs in neighbourhood policing. Mr Herbert recently announced that the ringfenced Neighbourhood Policing Fund which supports PCSOs will be maintained outside of London for the next two years.
Earlier this year, Sussex Chief Constable Martin Richards indicated that, despite having to make savings of £52 million over the next five years, his first priority would be to protect the frontline.
PCSO Matthews commented: "My thanks go to Nick for our meeting today. I felt it was important to highlight the work we do within our communities and for Sussex Police and it was certainly reassuring to hear that this work was not going unnoticed."
Nick Herbert commented: "I would like to thank Lee and his colleagues very much for the work they do. I know that it is appreciated by local people, as it is by me. I strongly value neighbourhood policing and the role that PCSOs play in delivering it. And I'm delighted that, despite the savings that will need to be made in the next few years, forces like Sussex fully intend to protect neighbourhood policing."
The MP added: "I was also pleased to have the opportunity to raise local concerns about anti-social behaviour and criminal damage in Arundel arising from late night drinking. I was pleased to hear that this is already very much on the local police radar screen and that action is being taken to deal with it. It's unacceptable behaviour."
Notes for Editors
1. Last week, Mr Herbert made a closing speech in the Commons debate on the Second Reading of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill. For a transcript, visit http://bit.ly/dFFRKZ.
2. Earlier this month, Mr Herbert made a closing speech in the Commons debate on police funding. For a transcript, visit http://bit.ly/fFdv57.
3. On 28 November, Mr Herbert was interviewed on Sky News about police reform and funding. For a transcript, visit http://bit.ly/g4l4i8.