The current governance arrangements for Sussex Police are provided through an unelected ‘quango’ of 17 people which is known as the Sussex Police Authority which has largely served Sussex well since it was created in 1996. The Home Secretary at the time, Michael Howard made it clear that the Police Authorities should not be dominated by party politicians, ensuring that the committee was a near even balance of politicians and independent members. Prior to this change Local Authority politicians had controlled policing for 150 years.
As a result of the the ‘Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011’ the Police Authority will be abolished and Police and Crime Commissioner will be elected to replace them. The Police and Crime Commissioner will be expected to play a much wider role in the area of crime and disorder reduction across Sussex than the current Police Authority. This means that the person elected will need to demonstrate a fresh approach to this new complex and significant role .