New Sussex Police Authority chairman sets out his vision for the future

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THE new chairman of Sussex Police Authority said he has “laid down the gauntlet” for the future of police accountability in Sussex.

Steve Waight, who has recently been appointed to the position, said the next year would be hugely important for the authority.

“The clock is ticking towards the introduction of a police and crime commissioner next May,” he said.

“We need to make sure the people of Sussex, who will need to turn out and vote for their commissioner, understand why police accountability is important and what it will mean for them.

“It’s important for people to realise they will be asked to vote for one person who will be their voice of scrutiny for people over policing in Sussex.”

Mr Waight said as he had been appointed chairman for what will probably be the final year of police authorities he wanted to ensure Sussex improved its scrutiny role so a “fit for purpose” organisation could be handed over to the commissioner.

“We have already seen unprecedented changes to policing in this country over the past couple of years,” he said.

“The reductions in police budgets have meant police authorities up and down the country, Sussex included, have had to make some very difficult decisions and have had to adapt to these changes by steering the forces they oversee into different ways of working.

“All of this work will really begin to be seen over the next twelve months and in Sussex we hope this will lead to a continually improving police force that is truly accountable to the people of Sussex.”