SINCE April Sussex Police has recruited 140 new constables, with 70 of them having just started their police training.

In her latest weekly report the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, said she knows the county’s residents will be very glad to see 70 of these new police officers out on patrol after their training is complete in December, and that another group, consisting of 33 new officers, has just marked the end of its training.

All good news, of course, but which of us will actually ever see even one of these 140 new officers “out on patrol”, as Mrs Bourne said?

After all, there are well over 400 cities, towns and villages in the county for them to display their presence in, that’s about three for each new constable to patrol, and there are more than one and a half million of us looking to see them in action apprehending the shoplifters, the muggers, the house breakers, the vandals defacing our streets with graffiti, and all the other villains who spoil life for so many people.

Yes, 140 new officers will make a difference, assuming that they don’t all disappear inside our few remaining police stations and sit in front of computers all day long.

But, if we are to have a truly effective police service in Sussex, Mrs Bourne must place pressure on the Government for the money she needs to recruit even more new officers, as these 140 men and women will only increase the size of the force by, at the very most, five per cent.

We don’t want just handfuls of new officers, we need bucketloads of them.

Eric Waters, Lancing