‘We can’t investigate everything’ – says top Sussex Police chief

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Sussex Police has decided to re-think the way it tackles crime because as a top officer says it is ‘unrealistic to think we can investigate everything’.

More than 94,000 crimes are reported a year in Sussex but the police force is shrinking.

Sussex Police has decided to ‘modernise’ the way it investigates crime to ‘speed up investigations, direct people to the right services to meet their needs and give earlier resolution’.

Investigators are now using an Investigations Framework to help them prioritise the crimes that ‘cause the greatest harm to victims and communities’.

Assistant Chief Constable Laurence Taylor, who is overseeing the implementation of the new policing model, said: “As demands on our service increase and we become a smaller organisation, it’s vital that our officers and staff have the tools to help them prioritise their workload.

“With so many reports received each year it is unrealistic to think we can investigate everything. By better defining our priorities and focusing our resources accordingly, we aim to conduct better investigations of crimes against the vulnerable, crimes involving serial offenders and crimes that cause the greatest harm.

“We won’t be ruling out investigating any crimes types. We will certainly not provide criminals with safe areas to move into or crime types that people will no longer report.”

The Investigations Framework aims to:

• Improve the quality of decision making about what should and shouldn’t be investigated

• Focus on victims’ wishes and the most vulnerable.

• Increase the proportion of investigations of crimes that cause the most harm, affect the most vulnerable and are committed by persistent offenders.

Detective Sergeant Laurence Cartwright said: “The framework enables us to quickly identify and support the most vulnerable victims, allowing more time and effort to be put into investigations where the risks to the victim are highest.”

ACC Taylor added: “We will work together with victims of crime to understand their views and make sure their wishes are central to the decision making process.

“Evidence collected from a number of other police forces has shown that forces which investigate fewer crimes, solve more and get better outcomes for victims because they focus on the right things.

“The framework therefore also aims to reduce the overall number of investigations conducted.”

The Investigations Framework is a part of many wider changes taking place within Sussex Police.

New Investigations Teams, formed from Criminal Investigations Departments and Response Investigations Teams, will have a mix of detectives, uniformed officers and police staff investigators working together to better manage demand and provide a better service to victims.