EVEN in an area like Wealden, with relatively low levels of serious crime, people rightly still get fed up with antisocial behaviour, graffiti and public drunkenness on their streets.
It had become evident that the old approach to dealing with these social problems was not working, and a new way was needed to deal with them.
And that’s why Sussex Police developed Operation Blitz.
Operation Blitz has been created specifically to target anti-social behaviour and underage drinking. A dedicated team of police officers and Police Community Support Officers are deployed to specific areas in Wealden between 6pm and midnight on Friday and Saturday nights.
Residents are given a mobile telephone number that takes them straight through to the team on duty, so they can respond more effectively to incidents as soon as they arise. This direct line means that the response time to any incident is a lot quicker than if the call had been made to the non-emergency number 101.
Operation Blitz allows police officers and PCSOs to spend more time on patrol in areas which have had a history of anti-social behaviour. So often, this is caused by too much alcohol, so young people who are caught underage drinking or acting in an anti-social manner are referred to the anti social behaviour officer who will inform their parents. Parents are then asked to collect their child immediately.
Overwhelmingly, young people are a credit to their families, schools and communities, but a small minority gives everyone a ‘bad name’ and make it hard for so many others to be able to enjoy a night out.
So this proactive approach by the police is a great step forward. But it only works if we all get involved and sign up to Operation Blitz, through the Sussex Police website, so we can all take advantage of the support it offers, and help keep our communities safe.