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Horsham’s MP joined police on patrol to see for himself the challenges they face with the local night-time economy.
In particular, MP Jeremy Quin (pictured left) was keen to see how officers address the significant community concerns regarding late night violence.
During his shift with the Neighbourhood Policing Team from Friday evening (27 January) into the early hours of Saturday (28 January), he joined officers as they engaged with members of the public on their night out.
There were no violent incidents around Horsham’s increasingly vibrant late-night venues but officers provided reassurance and were on hand to prevent issues emerging.
One man who appeared to be under the influence of drugs was stopped and searched under Section 23, at which point he became uncompliant. He was detained and he disclosed he was in possession of a knife. This was recovered and he was taken into custody.
He was identified as Adam Mayhew, 19, of no fixed address. He was arrested and charged with possession of a knife in public and possession of crack cocaine, and is scheduled to appear at Horsham Magistrates’ Court for trial on 17 May.
The following evening (28 January), police received a report of a group of unwanted customers in the queue for M Bar in the town centre. As a Dispersal Order was in place from Friday night for 48 hours, officers used powers to serve the individuals with notices to leave the area.
In the early hours of Sunday 29 January, police received a report from bar staff of a man in possession of a knife in Piries Place. Officers immediately searched for the suspect, who was found in nearby East Street, and a knife was found discarded in a flower pot. The 46-year-old, who is from Horsham, was arrested on suspicion of possession of a knife in public and bailed until 30 April, pending further enquiries.
Police received further reports of groups of youths wearing balaclavas in the area over the weekend, however no offences were identified in relation to them.
District Commander for Adur, Worthing and Horsham, Chief Inspector Sarah Leadbeatter (pictured right), said: “It is concerning that despite our repeated pleas, some people still think it is acceptable to carry a knife in public. Doing so places them and anyone around them at significant risk of harm, and the consequences could be catastrophic.
“We are committed to ensuring Horsham remains a safe place to live and work, and the carrying of weapons and associated violence will not be tolerated.
“My teams will be robust in how they disrupt this criminal activity and anyone identified as being responsible for carrying an offensive weapon or committing the level of violence we have previously seen within the town, will be dealt with via the criminal justice process.
“We’re encouraged that people are being vigilant and starting to report any suspicious activity to us, and I would urge the public to continue to report incidents to us. This helps us build up our intelligence to be able to react and respond where necessary.
“If people are concerned about a friend, associate or family member carrying a weapon, you can report it through to us on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously.
“We must ensure that Horsham becomes a hostile place for anyone considering carrying an offensive weapon.”
Jeremy Quin MP added: “Police have a plan in place for going after antisocial and criminal behaviour in our town. I was reassured by the strong police presence which was hugely welcomed by those enjoying their evening out.
“The police are actively engaging and taking proactive steps to keep our streets safe. Horsham remains a safe place to live, work and go out in the evening. We are all determined to keep it that way.
“I would encourage everyone to report criminal activity to the police to help them maintain their intelligence on the small number of individuals who are causing real concern in our community.”