THE issue of how much the police tell us about the crime that takes place in our neighbourhood takes us to the heart of what is in the public interest.

This is not an issue that pitches the media against the police.

It is more important than that. It is about the public’s right to know.

Frankly the media would be unlikely be able to report all of the hundreds of crimes we have uncovered today, even if the police had decided to release them.

A few years back a new philosophy gripped the Home Office and police forces around the country.

It was that residents, particularly the elderly, were being disproportionately scared by crime when the reality was that they were very unlikely to be victims themselves.

This “fear of crime” thinking resulted in a gradual phasing back on the amount of information forces would put out about crimes on their patch.

Now, We now see the end result of this. swathes of very serious crimes are happening every day in Brighton and Hove without anyone ever knowing about them.

These are crimes against the public, investigated by public officials who have spent public money to do so. Is it right that Sussex Police choose not to tell the public about them?

We think not. For a start, how is the public to play a part in solving these crimes, and most of them remain unsolved, if they are unaware of them?

The public play a huge role in solving crimes and they should be given every chance to do so.

Let’s take a very minor crime, say a shed burglary. Wouldn’t you rather know that a neighbour six doors down lost his lawnmower? You might even check your own garden security.

We are aware the police have excellent crime prevention programmes but surely forewarned is forearmed.

In the end this is not a question of why should this information be available to the public.

It’s is a much simpler question. Why shouldn’t it?