Neighbourhood policing, and the vital role it plays in keeping our communities safe, will be highlighted during a dedicated week of action.

From January 17 to 23, police forces across the country will be shining the spotlight on their Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPT) and sharing information on the work they do to help people in their time of need.

In Sussex, officers will use the week of action as an opportunity to build on the work they do 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – engaging with the public, deterring and identifying crime, and taking action against issues affecting the lives of people living and working in our districts.

Chief Superintendent Justin Burtenshaw, force lead for neighbourhood policing, said: “Neighbourhood Policing Teams work at the heart of our communities. Whether it’s an officer patrolling a park following recent reports of anti-social behaviour, or a PCSO attending a residents’ meeting to discuss concerns around drug-dealing, they are working hard to tackle the issues that negatively impact the lives of people they serve to protect.

“There are many strands of policing that sit under the umbrella of NPT. It includes our licensing teams who work hard to ensure local businesses are complying with laws put in place to keep customers safe, and our neighbourhood youth officers who work closely with schools and youth clubs in the area to engage with children and young people.

“Quite often, issues in our community cannot be solved by police alone. Through good relationships built between our NPT and partners such as local councils and support services, we can use a multi-agency approach to effectively respond to these problems.”

During the week of action, Neighbourhood Policing Teams across Sussex will be stepping up their activity. There will be dedicated days of action for the Rural Crime Team, protecting wildlife and supporting our rural and farming communities, and for Operation Safety, the force’s response to knife crime and serious violence.

Officers will also be out engaging with the public, providing information about the role of the Neighbourhood Policing Team and listening to any concerns people may have.

Ch Supt Burtenshaw added: “We encourage people to talk to police officers and PCSOs when they see them out and about in our villages, towns and cities.

“Simple conversations can help our officers gather intelligence which, when combined with a good local knowledge, supports their aim of preventing, identifying and responding to crime and anti-social behaviour, and catching those responsible for causing harm in our community.”

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “I know, from my frequent consultations with residents and local organisations across Sussex, just how much they value the importance of visible neighbourhood policing.

“That is why I have enabled Sussex Police to invest in additional PCSOs and police officers as well as encouraged increased engagement with local councils, residents and businesses – all of which has helped to strengthen neighbourhood policing throughout our county.

“I am determined to see neighbourhood policing remain at the heart of the force’s work with our communities, addressing local priorities and proactively tackling issues that really matter to people.”

Members of the public can report crime to police online or by calling 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.