AN astonishing question to the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner asked for assurances that there would be no ‘thieves and liars’ among future recruits.

The question was put to Katy Bourne by a member of the public during a meeting at County Hall, in Lewes, where the recruitment of 800 officers was discussed.

Time was set aside at the start of the meeting to allow the public to put their questions.

The man, from Lancing, told the meeting that he had been ‘raided’ by four people, three of whom had knives, and received no response from police for ‘about six weeks’.

He told Mrs Bourne that he had contacted her office about the incident after being told by officers that it was a civil matter, even though the offenders had been caught on CCTV.

The man said he was suing the force over damage to a door.

He told Mrs Bourne he had had ‘all sorts of problems’ and that police had been ‘no help just a hindrance’.

His question to the panel stated: “I realise we do need some police officers in Sussex but, before spending valuable taxpayers’ money, could proper checks be put in place that future employees are not thieves, liars, can they read and write, they have the intellect to know what day it is.”

He added: “Would the panel underwrite and be responsible for bad debts the police run up? If this cannot be guaranteed could the funding to the police be withdrawn?”

The man was advised that his question was not one for the panel and needed to go through the complaints process.

Mrs Bourne provided details of the recruitment requirements for potential officers, including education standards and the vetting procedure.

She said she would refer the matter to the Chief Constable and check with her office to find out how his complaint had been dealt with.

As the meeting prepared to move on, the man said it was ‘outrageous’ that the police council tax precept was to rise.