A detective reprimanded for speaking out about a target culture holding back effective police work has resigned from the force.

Johnno Hills handed in his notice to Sussex Police after he voiced his frustration over Government quotas and a mountain of paperwork.

The force said his resignation had been accepted and he has been suspended from duty.

Mr Hills, a training detective constable based in Brighton, said: "I ask myself how much crime I could have prevented if I wasn't chasing easy detections or confined to the station processing mountains of endless paperwork."

He said quota systems set by the Government encouraged officers to choose to take on easy crimes rather than more important jobs.

Mr Hills said: "I'm tired of seeing committed, professional and hardworking officers being made to feel they are not performing if they don't achieve their monthly detections quota.

"I've seen officers competing against each other for the most detections in a month. It has become a sport."

He will technically remain a member of the force until his suspension period finishes.

A Sussex Police spokeswoman said it had been made clear to Mr Hills that it was not necessary for him to resign, though there were serious concerns over his comments, made to a national newspaper.

She said: "His determination to pursue these issues as a matter of principle in the way that he is compromises his role as a police officer.

"DC Hills, as a detective in training, is not in a position to comment on matters that relate to national policy.

"Furthermore, police regulations state that officers must maintain political neutrality."

Mr Hills complained that policing had become focused on statistics showing crimes had been solved rather than on preventative work.

Mr Hills said: "I want people to feel safe to walk the streets of our country."

Sussex Police said it was clearing up 50 per cent more than five years ago - the 11th largest increase in England and Wales.

It said this was driven by a 44 per cent increase in detections and added that its current detection rates were the highest on record.

Sussex Police said crimes in Brighton and Hove were below the average for similar areas.

In the past year the burglary rate has fallen by 30 per cent, serious violent crime by 21.7 per cent, robbery by 16.5 per cent and theft by 21.3 per cent.

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