Police have increased patrols in Eastbourne and Hastings to tackle anti-social behaviour and business crime over the festive period.
Officers and partners have been conducting dedicated patrol activity in hot-spot areas between 10am and 6pm each day.
Working with partners such as the Business Wardens, Neighbourhood First, Environment First, Street Ambassadors, BID, and the Rough Sleepers Initiative, the high-visibility patrols are an opportunity to engage with the local community, offer reassurance, and respond to any local concerns and reports.
Last weekend in Hastings, officers made three shoplifting arrests, and three for drugs offences across the town centre.
On Saturday 9 December, officers witnessed a suspected drug deal take place in Wellington Square and arrested three males on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class B drugs. Continued searches led to the discovery of a small cannabis factory at an address in Westfield Lane.
Fatjon Deda, 36, of no fixed address, has been charged with possession with intent to supply Class B drugs and remanded in custody.
Damon Robinson, 34, of Amherst Close, Hastings, has been charged with possession with intent to supply Class B drugs and production of a controlled drug, and released on conditional bail.
Both men will appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court later this month.
A 47-year-old man was released on police bail whilst the investigation continues.
Chief Inspector Kara Tombling, of the Hastings Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Whilst the festive period brings a wealth of positive activity across our towns, it also unfortunately increases anti-social behaviour, street drinking, and business crime.
“We want the members of our communities to be able to enjoy their shopping and social events, and are committed to keeping the towns safe to do so.”
In Eastbourne, the neighbourhood policing team are offering a variety of awareness events at the engagement pod in the town centre on topics such as drink-driving, and fraud and scams.
On Friday 8 November, officers were on hand to give advice on pick-pocketing and burglary through the festive season, with tips such as carrying your bags in front of you or diagonally across your chest, and storing gifts away from windows.
Officers also offered purse bells to passers-by, an effective way of alerting you if someone is trying to steal your bag or purse.
Inspector Sarah Taylor, of the Eastbourne Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Engaging with our community is a crucial part of our work to reduce crime – the public are our eyes and ears.
“The visible patrols in the town centre mean we are able to provide advice and reassurance to shoppers, work with businesses, and identify and protect the vulnerable.
“East Sussex is a safe place to visit, work, and live, and we continue to work hard to keep it that way.”
Anyone who has concerns around crime and disorder is asked to contact the neighbourhood policing team online or by calling 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.