Tory Katy Bourne, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, implements 3% cut in Police Officer numbers

Katy Bourne has presided over a 3% cut in police officer numbers across Sussex since she was first elected in 2012, data obtained from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has shown.

Despite claims made in an interview with BBC Radio Sussex last week, the ONS data details how there were 230 less police officers serving across Sussex by the end of Katy Bourne’s first term as Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC). 

This fall in police numbers continued throughout her second term. In 2018 – six years after she was first elected – police officer numbers plunged by 12%. This represented their lowest figure in a decade.

Despite a modest increase in numbers over the last two years, the number of police officers serving in Sussex remains 3% lower than in 2012.

Kahina Bouhassane, Green Party candidate for Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, said:

The number of police officers serving across Sussex has fallen during Katy Bourne’s terms as Policing and Crime Commissioner. Despite her brazen attempts to take credit for a recent increase, these will go only some way to replacing those numbers that have been lost. The fact remains that we still have less serving police officers than when she first assumed office.”

Kahina Bouhassane continued:

“Yet again, we are seeing the damage that Tory cuts have had on our public services. These reductions have a real impact on the lives of people across Sussex. While Katy Bourne tries to rewrite her failing record on police numbers, I am committed to working with the police service and local communities to make a real difference in local policing so that it better serves all of us.”

Kahina Bouhassane defends fire services against threat to transfer control away from local councillors

Kahina Bouhassane, Green Party candidate for Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, has added her voice to those raising concerns over ongoing Home Office pressure to place fire services under the control of Policing and Crime Commissioners.

The Home Office is increasing pressure up and down the country for local fire and rescue services to come under the control of Policing and Crime Commissioners (PCC). This would take oversight away from local councillors, and give the PCCs the ability to hire and sack staff. 

Fire services – currently steered by Fire and Rescue Authorities (FRAs) made up of elected councillors – are responsible for almost 700,000 annual home safety visits to vulnerable older people living on their own. This preventative measure is partly praised for helping reduce pressure on the NHS.

Under proposals being pushed by the Home Office, these fire and rescue services would be transferred to bodies set up to oversee the police. 

These moves have been criticised by the Local Government Authority (LGA) who said that the move would “divert valuable resources” away from the community work carried out by fire services. The Fire Brigade Union (FBU) also opposes the proposals, highlighting that they could “open the door to privatisation of the service.

The Green Party has long opposed this move as they represent further erosion of support for our critical public services. After a decade of underfunding, these cuts threaten to put lives at risk.

Kahina Bouhassane, Green Party candidate for Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, said:

“This is a transparent case of the Home Office trying to seize back control of local fire services. At the moment local elected councillors work closely with firefighters in supporting their work in the community, which has been incredibly effective in promoting fire prevention. Giving in to Home Office pressure would not only undermine this vital work, but would also undermine ongoing collaborations between fire services and local NHS services.”

“Throughout the pandemic we have seen Fire Services rally to the assistance of ambulance crews up and down the country and play a crucial role in the emergency response to the COVID crisis. As we enter into a phase of collective recovery, it is clear that this is not the time to make fundamental changes to our emergency services.”

Kahina continued:

“Fire services and the police play different roles in ensuring public safety. Every day these services demonstrate how effective they already are in working together. Trying to merge them together threatens the very independence that is so important to the work of firefighters, and threatens to erode the trust that the public has in the service.”

Kahina concluded:

“Despite the Tory cuts to fire services up and down the country, our firefighters remain dedicated to their courageous and essential work. When fire services are already achieving so much, and already collaborate so closely with the police and ambulance services, it seems astonishing that the government would choose this moment for unnecessary meddling and reorganisation. It is simply another example of the Home Office prioritising their budgets over concerns of public safety.”

An Unfair System

Many of us know someone that has fallen victim to unequal policing. Whether it is a friend that has been unfairly targeted in a stop and search or a colleague that has not reported an assault because they feel that their gender or sexuality identity will not afford them the same level of justice. It may even be a family member that sees crime in their village continue to go uninvestigated. We all know someone who has felt disempowered and forgotten. Someone who’s voice is not being heard. It might even be you.

This is not a fair system and this is not policing that protects the people.

It is within the last few years that brave people within our society have stood up and shone a light on these inequalities. From the brave survivors of sexual assault who ignited the Me Too movement, to activists that marched and shouted for the voices of ethnic minorities to be heard. These movements have caused us to look at our past actions and have motivated us, and me, to stand up and demand a system that is fair and equal to all.

Rural communities are also experiencing a geographical disadvantage when it comes to policing. We are suffering from a lack of staffing where just 1 PCSO covers countless villages and communities. 

With every sharing of an Instagram story, every deflated exhale when we read a new story of another person suffering we think to ourselves, surely things are getting better. But over the past decade of Conservative administration, communities in Sussex increasingly suffer.

As a mixed race woman, who has lived both in rural Sussex village and big cities I have seen all too often how our criminal justice system disproportionality affects people who fall outside of the demographic majority.

I say ignorance is no longer an excuse when it comes to how the justice system affects our communities. The system that we have inherited affords privilege to certain groups in society, while the rest are left unsupported at best and discriminated against at worst.

I say communities are being left behind after a decade of Tory cuts and head in the sand politics. An unfair system affects us all.

I will fight for the dignity and respect of all Sussex residents.

I will rebuild trust in our policing system.


Standing Up, Speaking Up, Kahina will get things done!
Greens win in Sussex. Vote for me, Kahina Bouhassane, on May 6th and together let’s make Sussex Police a police for the people. 


Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner denies Stop and Search is discriminatory

Katy Bourne has this week called Stop and Search “proportionate” and claimed the practice was not discriminatory in answer to Kahina Bouhassane, Green Party Candidate for the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner.

Sussex Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner has called the police force’s use of stop and search methods proportionate, in response to questions from the Green Party.

It came in response to questioning from Kahina Bouhassane, who will be standing for the Green Party against Katy Bourne this May.

Stop and Search is a police method that has often come under criticism for racial profiling, as recent figures showed that black people in Sussex were 10 times more likely to be subject to searches.

Bourne then reaffirmed her belief of proportionality and denied that the practice is discriminatory in the meeting when questioned by Johnny Denis, Councillor for Ringmer and lead member for community safety at Lewes District Council, who represents the Green Party on the Sussex Police and Crime Panel.

Kahina Bouhassane, the Green Party Candidate for Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner said:

“It is clear that our policing does not reflect the diversity of our community – and it’s no wonder that BME people across Sussex feel rightfully attacked.

“Stop and Search has consistently been shown to be a racially motivated practice and it must end. I’m shocked that despite clear evidence in the force’s figures, Katy Bourne has denied the truth of the matter.

“Less than a year after Brighton and Hove marched in Black Lives Matter protests it shows nothing has changed. We are in desperate need of a criminal justice system that works for everyone.”

Green Party Candidate for Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner calls for more support for women

On International Women’s Day, the Green Party Candidate for Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner calls for more support for women from Sussex Police.

International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women around the world. But it also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity – a call echoed by the Green Party Candidate for Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Kahina Bouhassane.

Recent figures indicate that less than one third of Sussex Police officers are women. This falls to less than one fifth at Inspector level [1].

Misogynistic hate crimes have risen sharply across the county in recent years, yet conviction rates remain shockingly low.

·         1,540 rapes were recorded in Sussex in 2019, yet only 58 resulted in a conviction [2]

·         There were 21,000 reports of alleged domestic abuse offences in Sussex in 2020, with a local conviction rate of only 4% [3]

·         Sussex Police recorded 2,020 stalking incidents in the year to March 2020, yet – during 2020 – only 29 Stalking Protection Orders were issued [4][5]

The Green Party Manifesto is clear on the issue of combating hate crimes against women, setting out policies that would be implemented under Green Party leadership [6]:

·         Make misogyny a hate crime across the UK.

·         Develop and implement a UK-wide strategy to tackle gender-based violence.

·         Increase police capacity to deal with domestic violence and misogynistic hate crimes.

·         Increase funding to support the prevention and prosecution of all hate crimes. 

·         Put funding for Rape Crisis Centre services on a sustainable footing.

·         Roll back the cuts to domestic violence support centres and women’s refuges.

·         Provide further training for police officers in this area.

Green Party Candidate for Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Kahina Bouhassane, says:

“While it’s great to see that three of the very top ranks in Sussex Police are held by women, there are twice as many men as women in the force as a whole, and – at Inspector level – men outnumber women by four to one.

Addressing this gender imbalance would help to provide better support to women across the county, who are clearly being failed by the current system.

It’s truly shocking to think that – for victims of rape, of domestic abuse or of stalking – fewer than one in twenty of the offences reported will result in a conviction.

I urge you to vote Green in the upcoming Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner elections on May 6th. Greens can win in Sussex. With your vote, I can help protect women and ensure Sussex Police are Police for the People.”

 
Notes 

[1] https://www.police.uk/pu/your-area/sussex-police/performance/workforce-diversity/


[2] https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/sep/13/complaints-up-charges-down-see-the-numbers-in-your-area

[3] https://www.sussex-pcc.gov.uk/about/news/new-sussex-scheme-to-target-persistent-domestic-abusers/

[4] https://www.worthingherald.co.uk/news/crime/if-you-are-being-stalked-or-harassed-during-pandemic-what-sussex-police-says-you-should-do-2543219

[5] https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/19057311.sussex-second-highest-number-stalking-cases-country-police-say/

[6] https://www.greenparty.org.uk/assets/files/Elections/Green%20Party%20Manifesto%202019.pdf

Kahina Bouhassane, Green candidate for Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, speaks out on current Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne’s, false promises regarding Covid-19 Vaccination Rollout

On 29th January 2021, Katy Bourne – the current Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex – reassured the Sussex Police and Crime Panel that police officers would receive prioritisation during phase two of vaccine rollout.

During the Sussex Police and Crime Panel, she stated that she had been very vocal about the police receiving priority vaccinations. She insisted that she had government reassurances and suggested it was highly likely that the police would be covered in the second wave.

But less than one month later, the government has announced that phase two of the vaccination rollout will not cover occupational groups. Instead, it will focus on age categories.

After the vaccine is offered to those in vulnerable groups and those over the age of 50, phase two vaccine prioritisation is as follows:

  • Everyone aged between 40 and 49
  • Everyone aged between 30 and 39
  • Everyone aged between 18 and 29

Kahina Bouhassane, Green Party Candidate for the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner says: 

“Unfortunately this is just another example of empty tory promises. Officers along with all front line workers should be prioritised for the vaccines. As Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, I would stand up to the government and demand this protection. This affects real people, risking their lives to protect our community. Officers don’t need empty promises, they need real action.”

Police for the People

Kahina Bouhassane is the Green Party Candidate for Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner and she speaks up for people that aren’t being heard. Kahina is committed to making Sussex Police a police for the people.

Continue reading “Police for the People”

Kahina Bouhassane announced as Green Party Candidate for Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner

The Green Party has announced Kahina Bouhassane is their candidate in the upcoming Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Elections, pledging to make the Sussex force “a police for the people”.

The Green party has today confirmed its candidate is Kahina Bouhassane for the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner election which will take place on 6th May.[1] She is a long time resident of Sussex, having grown up in both Brighton and rural East Sussex. [2]

Kahina, a mixed race woman, has a history of speaking up for people that aren’t being heard. She is a long time campaigner on issues of equality, having protested and marched for Women’s rights, Black Lives Matter, LGBTQIA+ rights and Make Votes Matter. 

Kahina’s background is in communications. She has worked extensively in environmental and political journalism both as a freelancer and working for local non-profits, before moving to education. She now works in a school in Mid Sussex, supporting the learning and development of Key Stage 3 students on the autism spectrum. 

The Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Role is currently held by Conservative politician, Katy Bourne, who has occupied the position since it was first created in 2012. [3]

Kahina Bouhassane says:

“It is time for change. Years of Tory austerity has led to a police force that cannot serve everyone in the community. I have a history of speaking up for residents who are not being heard. Our officers work hard to look after us, but women, black and minority ethnic people and rural communities are being left unsupported. This is completely unacceptable. 

I am committed to ending the rampant inequality in our police force that leaves crimes in rural areas unaddressed, black and minority people poorly treated, and women vulnerable. 

Sussex has already elected Green Councillors from Arun in the West to Rother in the East and is home to an incredible Green MP. A Green Police and Crime Commissioner will make the real change needed for a fair and equal police force. Let’s make Sussex Police a police for the people.” 

Councillor Johnny Denis, a Green Party Member of the Sussex Police and Crime Panel welcomes the announcement:

It’s great news for Sussex residents! Kahina will be a strong critical friend of our recently appointed Chief Constable, Jo Shiner, and will make sure the voice of all residents is reflected in policing. I’m pleased that we have put forward such a strong and winning candidate”

[1] pronounced kah-hee-na boo-hass-en

[2] https://www.kahinabouhassane.com

[3] https://www.sussex-pcc.gov.uk/about/your-pcc/

Brighton and Hove Green Party Chair calls for misogyny to be made a hate crime

Brighton and Hove Green Party Chair calls for misogyny to be made a hate crime in support of domestic abuse victims ahead of Valentine’s Day 

For some, Valentine’s Day symbolises love, romance, and affection. For domestic abuse victims, it represents additional pressure, helplessness, and trauma. Brighton and Hove Green Party Chair, Kahina Bouhassane echoes Green Councillors call to make misogyny a hate crime. 

Domestic abuse continues to be one of the biggest issues facing women and girls [1]. With three national lockdowns and continuing levels of uncertainty countless people have been left feeling isolated, lonely, and unprotected. National figures from the first lockdown suggest that two-thirds of women in abusive relationships endured significantly more violence from their partners, with police receiving one report of domestic abuse every 30 seconds [2].  

With the introduction of harsher lockdown restrictions between April and June 2020, Sussex police made more than 3500 arrests for domestic abuse related crimes [3]. First-hand accounts have revealed that Valentine’s Day can be especially difficult for victims of domestic violence [4]. 

The Green Party Manifesto is clear on the issue of domestic violence, setting out policies that would be implemented under Green Party leadership [5]:   

  • Make misogyny a hate crime across the UK 
  • Increase police capacity to deal with domestic violence and misogynistic hate crimes  
  • Increase funding to support the prevention and prosecution of all hate crimes 
  • Provide further training for police officers in this area   
  • Implement an intersectional approach to hate crime, recognising the groups of women who are most at risk 

Brighton and Hove Green Party Chair, Kahina Bouhassane, says: 
 
“With the excitement of Valentine’s Day approaching, it is important to remember that this can be a very difficult time for victims of domestic abuse. Whilst organisations, such as Brighton Women’s Centre, continue to do amazing work in supporting victims of domestic violence, there is more to be done by all of us to support their brilliant projects. 

Now more than ever, it is vital that misogyny is made a hate crime to protect self-identifying women in Sussex. Following the call from Green Councillors in October, I urge Sussex Police to finally make misogyny a hate crime. No one should feel unsafe in their own home.” 

To anyone suffering from domestic violence and in need of help, you are not alone. 

Support can be found at https://womenscentre.org.uk/ or visit https://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/adult-social-care/keep-people-safe/help-domestic-abuse for further resources. 


Notes 
[1] https://www.refuge.org.uk/refuge-helpline-and-live-chat-open-christmas-2021/ 

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/aug/17/domestic-abuse-surged-in-lockdown-panorama-investigation-finds-coronavirus 

[3] https://www.eastbourneherald.co.uk/news/crime/sussex-police-made-thousands-domestic-abuse-arrests-during-first-coronavirus-lockdown-3052427 

[4] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/valentines-day-domestic-violence-survivor-abuse-husband-a8777971.html  

[5] https://www.greenparty.org.uk/assets/files/Elections/Green%20Party%20Manifesto%202019.pdf  

Greens stand in solidarity with community marking Trans Day of Remembrance

Brighton and Hove Green Party have spoken out against anti-trans violence ahead of Trans Day of Remembrance (TDOR) this Friday.

Brighton and Hove Green Party Chair Kahina Bouhassane said:

“This Trans Remembrance Day, Brighton and Hove Green Party again stand tall in support of the Trans Community. Although we cannot mark this day as we normally would, this issue remains close to my heart and the mission of our Green Party.

“It is devastating to see this violence and discrimination not only present in the UK, but increasing. I remain committed to fighting inequality in all it’s forms. Trans rights are human rights.”

Read more: https://www.brightonhovegreens.org/2020/11/19/trans-day-of-remembrance-2020/