A new policing set-up has been defended

A strong defence of the new policing structure has been made by Bognor Regis police station’s Inspector Nick Bowman.

He said it would see resources focused where they were most needed according to crime rates, levels of anti-social behaviour and rates of deprivation.

He spoke out at Monday’s meeting of Aldwick Parish Council and last Wednesday’s Joint Western Arun Area Committee after criticisms from councillors.

Insp Bowman said Bersted was a hotspot for anti-social behaviour, Marine and Hotham suffered from shoplifting and burglaries to businesses, sheds and private garages.

In contrast, crime in Aldwick had dropped by six per cent against last year.

“That means Bersted, Hotham, Marine, Pevensey and Orchard get the majority of our resources around Bognor,” he said.

“Pagham, Aldwick, Felpham and east and west Middleton get fewer resources. That’s not to say there are not problems elsewhere but we need to concentrate on where there are most problems.”

He promised changes to the locations of the three sergeants, six PCs and ten PCSOs around Bognor would be made if it became evident they were needed.

“We will be reviewing this very quickly, next February, and if Felpham has an increase in crime we will move more resources there.

“But it is not just about crime. It is about anti-social behaviour and deprivation as well,” he said.

The changes are intended to counter a five per cent yearly rise in crime around Bognor and a four per cent increase in the Five Villages and Arundel.

The neighbourhood policing set-up is separate from the 999 teams.