NEARLY a third of frontline police officers worked the last Bank Holiday Monday in Sussex, compared with a normal Monday shift.

Sussex Police scheduled on 499 officers on May 26, down more than 900 on the previous Monday, May 19.

The force has fewer bobbies on the beat over bank holidays because officers are paid more.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “The salaries of the majority of police officers and staff working on bank holidays are paid at an enhanced rate, which has an obvious effect on force budgets.

“In addition, detailed examination of demand on bank holidays has led to the introduction of staggered start times for officers and staff rather than everyone parading at the same time.”

The Argus initially asked for the figures to be broken down into Sussex Police districts: Brighton & Hove, Lewes, Mid Sussex, Crawley, Gatwick, Wealden, Rother, Eastbourne, Hastings, Adur & Worthing, Horsham, Arun and Chichester.

But the force refused for security reasons and said: “Sussex Police operates at a divisional rather than a district level on these days, demonstrating a much greater commitment to cross-border working and deployment than is normally the case.”

The force did release figures for the total number of officers working within Brighton and Hove Division, East Sussex Division, West Sussex Division and Gatwick Operations only.

The figures are a headcount, not full-time equivalent.

The chief constable works with the police and crime commissioner (PCC) to agree a yearly budget.

A source from the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner said it was up to the chief constable, in this case Giles York, to approach to the PCC, currently Katy Bourne, with a business case for more money.

The figures came to light approaching this Monday’s Bank Holiday.

A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: “Consideration is given to what is occurring within the county on specific bank holidays and we resource them accordingly.”