New Divisional Commander for West Sussex introduced

Sussex Police has welcomed the return of Chief Superintendent Howard Hodges, who has taken up the role of Divisional Commander for West Sussex.

Chief Supt Hodges returns to the force having spent the past 12 months on a secondment with the National Police Coordination Centre (NPoCC) in London where he was the Head of the Operations Unit with responsibility for a range of issues including the resourcing of national mutual aid for large scale events and operations.

He began his career in policing as a response PC based in Bognor Regis, before going on to work through the ranks in a variety of roles within West Sussex, Brighton and Hove and Operations Command.

Among his proudest moments are working on the 2012 Olympics and command roles for both the Labour Party Conference and the Lewes Bonfire Celebrations.

Chief Supt Hodges said: “At the start of February I was very proud to start in my new role as the Divisional Commander for West Sussex, a county where my family and I have always lived and where my career in policing began nearly 26 years ago.

“It is clear that we are living and working in times of unprecedented challenge which will be impacting on us all; pushing us to our limits, testing our resilience and disrupting our lives in ways we never could have imagined.

“The impact of the pandemic on policing has been profound; changing our traditional demand, the addition of lots of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to be worn and providing us with new legislation and regulations to work with the public to understand via the 4Es approach: Engage, Explain, Encourage and, where necessary, Enforce.

“I am grateful for the way the communities of West Sussex have adapted and played their part to keep themselves and others safe, and I am confident we will all continue to do so until this health pandemic is fully under control.

“Throughout my service there has been lots of changes in society and internally within policing. However, what has remained consistent is our core mission to protect our communities, catch criminals and deliver an outstanding service to victims, witnesses and the wider public.

“I have made it clear to my officers that I expect them all to come to work full of pride for the work they do, being passionate for policing and doing their job to the very best of their ability. I am confident that we can achieve our mission but also recognise that we will not be able to do it alone. How we engage and work with our communities is critical as well as the partnerships we work within at both the local and county levels.

“It is my commitment to you that l will serve you well in the days, weeks and months to come as together we make West Sussex a safer place.”

A photo of the new Divisional Commander can be found here.

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