THE chief constable of Sussex has promised to make people feel safer.

Giles York gave his assurances during a question and answer session while announcing the new policing model outside Metro bank in North Street, Brighton, yesterday.

He confessed Peacehaven had been plagued by antisocial behaviour in the past year, which coincided with his decision to close the town’s police station, but has vowed to keep people safe and feeling safe.

When The Argus referred to the problems in Peacehaven, which include people saying they were scared to leave their homes, Mr York said: “I know there has been an increase in reported crime in Peacehaven, however it still remains a safe place to live.

“We take concerns seriously.

“We will be there when we need to be.”

He noted the force arrested a man for riding his motorbike across parkland and added that shoplifting was also a big issue but he said the force worked well with Peacehaven Town Council on ways to tackle crime.

“We and the town council work positively,” Mr York said.

“We are looking to make the police presence more prominent so people can feel policing more strongly in their communities.”

Mr York added that Sussex Police were looking to branch out from their office in Peacehaven’s Meridian Centre.

The new “policing model” was launched yesterday after Sussex Police began sowing the seeds for the plan in 2015 in light of the Conservative government's cuts to police budgets.

The force needs to make more than £50 million savings by 2021.

Up to 1,000 jobs are to be lost, include reducing the number of officers by 500. There will also be 200 fewer police staff and 300 posts will go from elsewhere.

In 2015 Sussex eployed 4,865 police officers and staff - 2,477 of whom were involved in local policing.

Mr York said: “The new model means we can give the best policing to keep the people of Sussex safe by preventing crime in the first instance.”

The model is made up of three aspects: newly formed prevention teams, consisting of police community support officers (PCSOs) with enhanced skills and officers working with partners to target antisocial behaviour and crime; response officers, who act on emergency and provide intervention in vulnerable areas; and investigations teams who are highly trained to support victims and witnesses.

The focus is to prevent crime from happening but also responding to emergencies, primarily the most serious incidents, and investigating crimes professionally.

It will also mean Sussex Police working with their Surrey counterparts in areas such as road policing, firearms and major crime operations.

Mr York claims the model will see his officers “working smarter”, meaning they will be equipped with mobile phones that have police software installed so they can be more efficient.

He said: “There are three things which mean officers will be working smarter.

“The first thing is they will no longer be working in isolation – they will be in teams. A sergeant said to me this ‘could not come soon enough’.

“The second is skills.

“Specific police training is being given to staff, equipping them with more skills.

“The third thing is equipping [staff] with technology.

“Officers are being given their own mobile devices so they can find people and crimes without having to go back [to offices].”

Katy Bourne, the Conservative police and crime commissioner for Sussex, added: “With the launch of the new prevention teams this week, the public will soon be seeing how Sussex Police has transformed the way it works, complementing the earlier changes to response and investigation within the local policing model.

“When the chief constable began the changes in 2015, I welcomed the ambition to police within our means and to embrace innovation and technology and more efficient ways of working.

“To retain public confidence, the prevention teams will need to reach out to the public and show that, although the service may look different on the ground, it remains effective, alert and absolutely focused on the issues that matter to local people.”