Katy Bourne

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Katy Bourne

Police and Crime Commissioner
for Sussex Police
Assumed office
15 November 2012
Preceded byOffice created
Majority24,426 (12.9%)
Personal details
Political partyConservative
Alma materAberystwyth University
ProfessionPolice and Crime Commissioner

Katy Elizabeth Bourne OBE is a Conservative politician who has served as the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner since winning the inaugural election in Sussex in November 2012. In 2016, she was re-elected for a second term in office with an increased majority.

After selling her leisure business in 2005, Bourne held a number of political and regional government roles from 2009 onwards. During this period, she served as a Mid Sussex District Councillor.

Early life and education[edit]

Bourne studied from the age of ten at Roedean School, which is located on the outskirts of Brighton. She studied at the school until the age of 16, before she moved to Aberystwyth University. Her studies at Aberystwyth resulted in her graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History.[1]

Early career[edit]

Bourne was the founder of a leisure company, which taught people of a wide age range to dance.[2] She sold the business in 2005, according to the Brighton Argus.[1]

In 2008, Bourne was linked with her first political role, when she became involved with the Conservative Women's Organisation. She became one of three Deputy Chairmen in 2011, before serving as the National Chairman until 2012.[3]

Around the same time, Bourne became a District Councillor for Mid Sussex, serving in the role from 2011 until 2013. She has also served as a school governor of Oriel High School in Crawley since 2008.[4]

Police and Crime Commissioner[edit]

On 15 November 2012, Bourne was elected as Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex Police during the England and Wales Police and Crime Commissioner elections. She won the election with a majority of 24,426 over the Labour candidate.[5] She was then appointed as Director to the Board of the national College of Policing in 2013.[6]

One of her first initiatives as Police and Crime Commissioner, was the "tweetathon" on Twitter, with the BBC reporting that the reporting of domestic violence rose by more than 50% during a police Twitter campaign to highlight the issue of people not reporting the crime.[7] The work in this field of crime, led to the Sussex police force becoming the first in England to be awarded a White Ribbon status, as part of the White Ribbon Campaign.[8]

During her tenure as the Crime Commissioner for Sussex Police, Bourne achieved a number of goals. Between June 2012 and June 2013, Sussex crime statistics stated that overall crime had fallen by 7% in the county. Some crimes such as commercial robbery had a slight increase, but overall there were very few specific rises.[9] The rise in burglaries led to the immediate announcement of "Operation Magpie" in late June 2013. The crackdown included roadside checks, in an attempt to disrupt any criminal gangs movements and also a voluntary tag for previous offenders, to rule them out of police investigations.[10] As part of the strategy to tackle crime, Bourne set-up a fund worth £200,000, allowing community groups to apply for grants up to £5,000 to help prevent crime.[11] While many counties were cutting staff during 2013, Bourne announced in the Chichester Oberserver that recruitment had begun for 120 volunteer police in Sussex,[12] and also 60 additional PCSOs.[13]

In 2014, In 2014, Bourne introduced a new study to measure public confidence in the Sussex Police. This included more than 2,000 young people aged between 15-24, which was seen by the BBC as a positive strategy to engage with young people by the Police force.[14] During the same year, an initiative was launched to help victims of crime at a cost of £1.8 million.[15] Bourne was also successful in securing £250,000 in extra funding for young victims of serious sexual crimes.[16]

Bourne spoke at a meeting in Brighton about a number of issues in October 2014, including highway legislation. She suggested in passing that a cyclist could wear a form of identification, so the few that broke highway laws could be easily identified.[17] The article lead to a number of remarks in the British media that she had suggested that cyclists should use number plates, something that was untrue. Her comments resulted in an interview with The Guardian in late 2014 where she stated, "I believed that cyclists should have some form of identification. Now what that identification is, I don’t know."[18]

Throughout 2014 and 2015, Bourne called regular Performance & Accountability Meetings (PAMs) to measure the performance of Sussex Police. A number of improvements were made to 101 non-emergency call handling and burglary dwelling performance across throughout the two reported years. Satisfaction of police forces in the United Kingdom fell to an average of 80.4%, with Sussex Police achieving 93% in the same period.[19] Due to budgetary cuts from central government, police forces were asked to find innovative ways of saving. New technologies were introduced by Sussex police under Bourne's leadership to create additional funds for the force.[20] As part of the innovative move, they also received Funding worth £2.348 million from the Home Office's Police Innovation Fund.[21] Bourne also secured £1.1 million over a two-year period to transform the justice system in Sussex.[22]

Sussex police announced in 2015 that they would be one of the first forces in the United Kingdom to implement an app to assist with the reporting of hate crimes. The app could be used to record evidence of hate crimes as they happen. During the speech at the launch of the app, Bourne stated that she hoped this would allow people to report more hate crimes, something the Sussex police force felt at the time was under-reported.[23] In late 2015, it was announced that Bourne would be running for re-election as the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner.[24][25]

In late 2015, Bourne worked closely with the police force to introduce new measures to improve relationships with troubled young people, including the homeless.[26] In early 2016, she worked alongside a number of senior politicians to trial an idea to reduce court costs in rural communities. The scheme would replace administrative hearings with virtual courts, allowing defendants, victims and witnesses to give evidence remotely to reduce costs.[27] Reform's paper on digital justice, suggested such a scheme could result in savings of £27 million.[28] She was also interviewed on BBC Breakfast in March 2016 about a pilot of a new scheme to tackle domestic violence. The pilot would provide one-to-one support in an attempt to change the behaviour of perpetrators.[29]

Bourne was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2019 Birthday Honours.[30]

Personal life[edit]

Bourne resides in Mid Sussex with her husband and has two grown-up sons.[31]


  1. ^ a b "Conservative: Katy Bourne". Brighton Argus.
  2. ^ "Katy Bourne: Why would I want to be an MP?". The Independent. December 3, 2009.
  3. ^ "CWO :: People - Katy Bourne". Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  4. ^ "Katy Bourne". Mid-Sussex Conservatives.
  5. ^ "Sussex PCC election: Conservative Katy Bourne wins vote". BBC. November 17, 2012.
  6. ^ "Police and Crime Commissioners, one year on: warts and all". British Government. November 13, 2014.
  7. ^ "Domestic violence reports increase during Sussex 'tweetathon'". BBC. December 15, 2012.
  8. ^ "Sussex Police get domestic violence award". BBC. July 21, 2013.
  9. ^ Roberts, Anna (October 18, 2013). "Crime falls by 7% in Sussex but burglaries are on the up". Brighton Argus.
  10. ^ "Burglary crack down after break-ins rise". ITV. June 28, 2013.
  11. ^ "Safer in Sussex". Crowborough Life. February 14, 2014.
  12. ^ Gardner, Bill (August 28, 2013). "Sussex Police hires 120 volunteer police officers". The Argus (Brighton).
  13. ^ "New PCSO recruitment opens for Sussex Police". Chicester Observer. December 16, 2013.
  14. ^ "Sussex young people asked for views on police and crime". BBC. March 1, 2014.
  15. ^ "New £1.8m contract to support victims of crime". Sussex Express. October 31, 2014.
  16. ^ Hawthorne, Clarissa (July 3, 2014). "PCC secures extra funding for young victims of serious sexual crime (3 July 2014)". Sussex Police Force.
  17. ^ Khaleda, Rahman (October 8, 2014). "Police chief calls for cyclists to be forced to wear number plates so those who break the law can be easily prosecuted". Daily Mail.
  18. ^ Walker, Peter (9 October 2014). "Police commissioner proposes ID for cyclists – but can't explain why or how". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  19. ^ "Sussex PCC quizzes police on domestic abuse". Chicester Observer. May 5, 2014.
  20. ^ "Police trial drones above Gatwick Airport". ITV. April 5, 2014.
  21. ^ "Home Office rewards police innovation". Gov.uk. March 26, 2015.
  22. ^ "Funding boost to digitise criminal justice system set to improve victim care in Sussex". Sussex Police. March 26, 2015.
  23. ^ "Sussex Police launch hate crime reporting app". ITV. October 13, 2015.
  24. ^ "Katy Bourne says she will stand again for PCC post". Eastbourne Herald. November 20, 2014.
  25. ^ Millard, Rachel (September 28, 2015). "Young people and police need to get on better, commission finds". The Argus (Brighton).
  26. ^ "Sussex's Youth Commission speaks to young homeless people in Chichester". West Sussex Today. June 3, 2015.
  27. ^ Mosseri-Marlio, William (February 18, 2016). "Rural communities could actually gain from a digital criminal justice system". The Guardian.
  28. ^ "The future of public services: digital justice". Reform UK.
  29. ^ Millard, Rachel (February 17, 2016). "Sussex to pilot £1.25m domestic violence initiative". The Argus (Brighton).
  30. ^ "No. 62666". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 June 2019. p. B11.
  31. ^ "Police and crime commissioner for Sussex Police". British Police.

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