A week after Pride returned to Brighton and Hove and what an absolute pleasure it was to see our incredible city once again full of vibrant celebration and colour.
Brighton is a city known for its year-round inclusivity, but there’s something extra special about Pride weekend.
From a police perspective, the event was extremely successful, with no major incidents and with a really great commitment to our local communities.
In addition to the officers on duty who oversee the event, a number of officers, staff and volunteers also took part in the Pride parade. As a force, we will continue to show our support for the LGBT+ community.
Many of our staff are members themselves – Sussex Police has the highest proportion of LGB officers in the country – and it is right that we emphasize our role as an inclusive workforce that treats everyone equally, regardless of who they are and what they do believe or how they look.
The weekend brought a party atmosphere to the city, which goes hand in hand with a high level of intoxication and drug use.
Viewers of Channel 4’s Night Coppers series will be aware of the challenges our officers face in policing the night economy when alcohol, drugs and lowered inhibitions lead to all sorts of unpredictable situations.
How our officers respond to these interactions is critical to managing tensions and reducing harm to our communities. Arresting people is not always the solution, but we will of course push enforcement where necessary.
Officers who respond to incidents have a number of powers. For example, there is a dispersal zone around Brighton and Hove every weekend – known as Section 35 – which allows officers to order misbehaving people to leave the area. If they return or don’t leave at all, they will be arrested.
We can also solve a crime without going to court – like community liquidations – and we saw several of them on Tuesday’s episode.
These are used to deal with low-level crimes where a pragmatic outcome is agreed – often with the victim’s consent – that uses all the tools of the justice system and avoids bringing first offenders to justice, thereby achieving an all-round satisfactory solution.
This can be as simple as an apology or a request to take a rehabilitation class on anger management, for example.
While recipients of community resolutions do not receive criminal records, the incident is logged in our records as an intelligence agency. If they commit another crime, they face more serious consequences.
Not only does this empower victims by allowing them to have a say in how a matter is handled, but it also offers offenders who may have suffered a temporary misjudgment a second chance that doesn’t necessarily justify a criminal record with profound effects on their lives .
A joint resolution has many advantages. By dealing with the matter promptly, our officers can focus their time on more serious crimes while ensuring the victim receives justice and the offender is distracted to change behavior and reduce reoffending.
Research commissioned by the National Police Chiefs’ Council found a 43 percent increase in victim satisfaction when community resolutions are implemented. You don’t have to wait for a sometimes lengthy legal process – justice is immediate. They are also an effective tool to combat recidivism. Offenders face the immediate consequences of their actions and can be redirected to rehabilitation services, which can prevent them from escalating the crime.
NPCC research shows that rehabilitation programs can result in up to a 40 percent reduction in recidivism. This reduces the demands on officers, prisons, and the criminal justice system, ultimately freeing their time and resources to focus on more pressing matters.
Viewers of Tuesday’s episode will have seen community resolutions enacted for drug possession-related incidents.
We devote significant resources to combating the drug supply, identifying offenders, disrupting their operations and bringing them to justice.
It showed the effectiveness of community decisions in action. Prompt handling of low-level crimes bought Sergeant Andy Dunkling time to stop a suspect vehicle, seize a significant amount of Class A drugs and cash, and launch an investigation into the supply of drugs to the city.
Finally, I want to reassure you that despite what some scenes might suggest, officers don’t always eat kebabs — fish and chips, burgers, and chicken are also on the recommended late-night dinner list. As you can see with Night Coppers, they need to reach for food when they can, but rarely get to finish it.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20628779.police-chief-justin-burtenshaw-latest-episode-night-coppers/?ref=rss Police Chief Justin Burtenshaw on the latest episode of Night Coppers