A campaign has been launched in a bid to increase the priority of community policing on the streets of Horsham.
Hosham Labour Party has begun a fight to tackle what it says is a concern amongst Horsham people of a ‘lack of visible policing in the town and surrounding areas’.
Members were out in force quizzing residents on the issue and gaining hundreds of signatures on a petition calling for an increase in resources for the community police force.
It was handed over to Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne at a meeting on October 5.
Karen Symes, Horsham Labour Party secretary, said: “We have seen an increase in crime in Horsham town centre wards and local residents are understandably concerned about the lack of community policing.
“Residents do not feel safe and some are changing their daily routines as a result, e.g. avoiding walking from their home to the station early in the morning and in the evening.
“We have therefore launched a campaign calling for an increase in resources for community policing which, so far, has been supported by over 300 concerned Horsham residents.”
After quizzing Ms Bourne at the meeting on the numbers of officers on the streets, Karen added: “I was disappointed with the reply I got from the PCC, an increase of a possible 200 officers by 2022, is just not good enough.
“Police numbers in Sussex have fallen from 3,213 to 2,549 (as at March 2018), during a period of unprecedented rise in reported crimes. These figures have risen from 93,904 in 2015 to 114,019 in 2017 and are projected to reach 122,081 this year and rise to 126,060 in 2019. (Sussex Police 2018/19 Delivery Plan.)
“With crimes rates up and police numbers down it is hardly surprising we have seen such a sharp rise in reported crime.”