Look­ing back at 50 years of Sus­sex Po­lice – and how crime is chang­ing

From the first fe­male mounted of­fi­cer to cut­ting edge foren­sic tech­nol­ogy, polic­ing has changed since 1968

West Sussex Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Michael Drum­mond Crime Ed­i­tor [email protected]­nor.co.uk

With 2019 upon us, Sus­sex Po­lice is say­ing good­bye to a fas­ci­nat­ing year of cel­e­brat­ing its 50th an­niver­sary.

Over the course of 2018, the force looked back at how things had changed over the past five decades, from cars and tech­nol­ogy to uni­form and dogs – and polic­ing cul­ture it­self.

How­ever, de­spite the many changes, Chief Con­sta­ble Giles York praised the force’s com­mit­ment to ‘core as­pects’ of polic­ing that have en­dured.

Mr York, who joined the force six years ago, said: “What a great year it’s been re­mem­ber­ing 50 years of be­ing Sus­sex Po­lice.

“Through this year we’ve re­flected on so many things that have changed so much.

“Our uni­forms, our cars, our tech­nol­ogy, but equally we’ve re­mem­bered those core as­pects of polic­ing that have, and al­ways will stay the same.

“I’m re­ally grate­ful to all of the team and all of you who have con­trib­uted to recog­nis­ing and re­mem­ber­ing 50 years of Sus­sex Po­lice.”

Be­fore 1968, Sus­sex had been looked af­ter by sev­eral smaller po­lice forces: East Sus­sex, West Sus­sex, Hast­ings, East­bourne and Brighton.

Those forces com­bined to form the Sus­sex-wide po­lice force we have to­day.

Mr York said: “1968 to some peo­ple might not seem so long ago, but it was the year that Apollo 8 cir­cled the moon.

“And in dawn raids the Kray twins were ar­rested.

“I re­ally be­lieve that we for­get our his­tory at our peril. We must re­mem­ber the her­itage that has shaped what we are to­day.

“Things like tech­nol­ogy that has been with us for the 50 years, it has evolved to be one of our great­est as­sets, but re­mains to­day still to be one of our great­est chal­lenges as well.

“Our cul­ture has changed over the years, to­day to be more in­clu­sive as an or­gan­i­sa­tion, recog­nised as a leader in di­ver­sity and equal­ity.”

Dur­ing the course of its an­niver­sary year, Sus­sex Po­lice delved into its his­tory and spoke to cur­rent and former of­fi­cers and staff about their roles.

Among them was Sergeant Jan Lavis, who re­tired last year af­ter 36 years in the force.

Sgt Lavis said: “My beat in the early days in­cluded the sta­tion in Brighton, where the mounted branch and its four horses were based.

“The mounted branch was small but they were used for a va­ri­ety of things such as pa­trolling, miss­ing per­son searches and pub­lic or­der. They were reg­u­larly de­ployed at Brighton & Hove Al­bion’s old Gold­stone Ground.

“There had never been a fe­male of­fi­cer on the mounted branch in Sus­sex and the in­spec­tor in charge of the mounted branch and dog unit made it quite clear that there never would be.

“I find that re­ally funny now when I look at all the fe­male dog han­dlers.

“For­tu­nately for me, the Brighton su­per­in­ten­dent had a dif­fer­ent view and ap­proved my ap­pli­ca­tion to do a three­month at­tach­ment to the unit, the first by a fe­male of­fi­cer.”

More sto­ries from the force’s 50-year his­tory, as well as pic­tures and video, can be found at sus­sex.po­lice.uk Sus­sex’s po­lice and crime com­mis­sioner has also spo­ken of the im­por­tance of mark­ing such a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone in Sus­sex Po­lice’s time­line.

Katy Bourne, who has held the po­si­tion of po­lice com­mis­sioner since 2012, said: “It‘s been fas­ci­nat­ing to look back at Sus­sex Po­lice over the past 50 years.

“Dur­ing that time, crime has evolved in a way no­body would have dreamed of back in 1968, so I’m pleased to see that Sus­sex Po­lice is con­tin­u­ally em­brac­ing new tech­nol­ogy and best prac­tice to com­bat these chal­leng­ing and highly com­plex types of crime.

“I am proud to be Sus­sex born and bred.

“I’m also in­cred­i­bly proud that Sus­sex Po­lice is recog­nised for its com­mit­ment to di­ver­sity and we now have women in so many se­nior roles – in­clud­ing, of course, our new Deputy Chief Con­sta­ble.”

What has stood out to you about Sus­sex Po­lice over the last 50 years?

Do you miss the mounted divi­sion or like the clas­sic po­lice cars of days gone by? Email your views to ws.let­[email protected]

Crime has evolved in a way no­body would have dreamed of. Sus­sex Po­lice is em­brac­ing new tech­nol­ogy to com­bat these highly com­plex types of crime

KATY BOURNE Sus­sex po­lice and crime com­mis­sioner

As part of the 50th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions, an early Sus­sex Po­lice pa­trol car was parked out­side po­lice head­quar­ters in Lewes along­side its mod­ern BMW equiv­a­lent

An early in­car­na­tion of the Sus­sex Po­lice he­li­copter

Mem­bers of the mod­ern day Sus­sex Po­lice dog unit, which has changed con­sid­er­ably over the years

The mo­tor­cy­cles used by Sus­sex Po­lice of­fi­cers have changed over the years

Sus­sex po­lice and crime com­mis­sioner Katy Bourne said it has been ‘fas­ci­nat­ing’ to look back at the force’s his­tory

Chief Con­sta­ble Giles York has spo­ken about chang­ing polic­ing con­di­tions

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